Writing is terrifying. I wanted to start writing with a slow ascend. Writing in obscurity for a while. Until one of my blog posts went viral. Interestingly enough, my first blog post went viral. Even before I was able to hone my voice. Which brought on an identity crisis and a wave of writer’s block. How can I write more essays, when I don’t even know why the first essay went viral?
Here are 7 ways I tried to overcome writer’s block. Which ultimately ended with me, writing an essay about writer’s block.
1. Daily Journals: I’m a journaling addict. I journal every day. I thought writing more journals, would somehow magically lead to more essays. I created a content-calendar on Excel to carefully track my journaling progress. I hoped to one day to look back at my journals and find a neatly stacked pile of essays beside them. Surprisingly, I ended up with a lot of journals and no essays.
2. Journal Essays: As I continued to aimlessly journal. I tried to smoothly transition from journals to essays, by attaching essays to the end of journal entries. I called it “Jumpstart Journaling”. And with such an amazing codename, I was bound to overcome this mental hurdle. Eventually, I ended up with more journals and no essays.
3. Private Publishing: Perhaps the distance between journaling and publishing was too great. So I started publishing “private” blog posts. Private journals provided the comfort of a personal journal and exhilaration of a public essay. Which was great. Until I accidentally “publicly” posted a blog post. Which was automatically shared to 5 social channels and Liked by one of my coworkers. After painfully searching and deleting my scattered content. I stopped private publishing.
4. Forest: I heard great things about the Pomodoro method. How Pomodoro saved your productivity. How Pomodoro saved children from burning wells. How Pomodoro increased your output by 27.3%. I was sold. I downloaded the app. Which doesn’t help much if you never open the app.
5. Bluetooth Keyboard: In a world a distraction, perhaps the contrarian is the solution. I purposely limited my environment by getting a Bluetooth keyboard. Writing on a Bluetooth keyboard works great for writing journals. But not powerful enough for writing full-length essays. Overall, I ended up with more journals.
6. New Tab Home: Proximity is King, when you’re building new habits. Close proximity, means more interaction, and higher habit formation. If you want to drink more water, surround yourself in a water-bottle fortress. If you want to write more essays, make your homepage your essay page. Which makes logical sense. Sadly, my illogical-self missed Google.
7. Mini Essay: I have a giant list of potential blog posts. Which I keep in an Evernote folder aptly named “Hemingway”. My Hemingway folder continues to grow. My journal entries continue to grow. Yet my essays are at a standstill. Instead of waiting for a rush of heavenly inspiration to tackle 2,500 word essays. Writing shorter versions of my long-form essays, should lower the barrier to entry, and help me get back to writing. This is my first Mini Essay. And my first essay since my writer’s block.
I’m trying to write weekly essays. While juggling the events of life.