I think it’s fair to say Autumn came to say hello and then just ran away with us, a Halloween party and then it was gone and all of a sudden every where is star-studded with Christmas lights and festive markets.
University really does go by so quickly and now it’s so close to all our 1st year end of term deadlines before Christmas and the work load is piling high.
I couldn’t get any inspiration for my free writing and had to go on a 2 hour walk through the park near where I live in halls, it was literally like my mind was white. It was pretty, there is a massive yellow house that used to be a mental asylum which is quite creepy but still didn’t help me figure of any good ideas to write about. It’s fair to say that I have had such a writer’s block month – which isn’t really helpful when I have 750-word assessment essay and copy-writing portfolio to work on. On the other hand, it was great to get some fresh air.
Realising not being able to grasp inspiration or creative ideas 24/7 isn’t the end of the world.
I could not think of anything, just pure blank. My personal tutor says that most of what we write is basically 90% crap and then there comes the magical 10% of good content. He also said that we have to not be afraid of writing out a mountain of work that is actually not that great to get the good stuff out… I feel like there is some good writing due very soon as all I can write at the moment is pure rubbish in my mind.
I suppose that at times of low inspiration and few ideas, we have to ignore our inner voices discouraging us and that’s just how it is. Our minds aren’t going to spark up ideas 24/7 and that’s okay, it will just take time to figure it out.
I was really happy to find people starting to read and find my blogs useful. A comment on one of my previous blogs “Thoughts on writer’s block” made me want to give more insight to how I battle writers block and try get my 10% gold out! Go read it if you don’t know what I mean!
Writer’s block is the worst but remember this is only temporary! It’s a period of time and that’s it. I am sure if any of you ever experienced it, the ideas will come through eventually. If you are having trouble with a blank mind recently, here are some ways I personally use to get out of the cycle.
1. Free-writing on anything
The thing is, if you have nothing to say or think you have nothing to say, it can feel like there is no point in actually writing anything. But don’t be down about this – everyone experiences this – I’m sure even Shakespeare did at one point!
The trick is to keep writing even if it’s physically writing down that you have no idea what to do. It could be on anything. Once I couldn’t think of anything and I chose the first thing I could see and did free writing about a lemon… I know, a lemon! It doesn’t mean that I did an amazing creative piece about a piece of zingy yellow fruit but I was keeping up the practice of writing and this then helped me get back in the swing of writing and eventually give me the push to carry on.
So really writing about whatever makes your practice constant and you will squeeze out the 10% of gold. And if you think about it, you have to squeeze a lemon to make lemonade – just like squeezing out any ideas at all even if it isn’t very interesting.
Clustering is an amazing way of getting out random ideas. It can also be known as word-webs. You start of with any word – if it you need to focus on s something in particular then take the most important word and start there. for example, I could stat of with blue. This could then web out to water, sea, waves etc. Below is my example, starting with the root word as “spring”.
You can watch my process in a video on my instagram @a_little_insight.
3. Getting some fresh air or change of scenery.
This was just personally a good one for me. When I have writer’s block I tend to want a change on scenery to spark change in my brain to reach new or just interesting things. Of course this isn’t practical to go on a 2 hour walk every time you have writer’s block, but once in a while I like to go on a walk or quick stroll, even writing in a different place.
4. Word association
This is similar to clustering but in a different format. It is more like a quick fire list. I give myself 30 seconds to a minute long to jot down all he words I can, one relating to the one before. Its interesting to see the difference in your r starting word and your end word. This activity simply gets your brain active and can give you ideas or imagery to fill the blank space in your mind. Here is an example list, the start word being LIFE.
5. Don’t wait and don’t be scared.
By putting off writing because you feel you have writer’s block will make it worse. Don’t be afraid to push yourself into it – what is the worst that could happen? You could write something that you don’t like or never use. But this wont make you a bad writer, it will get you one step closer to your 10% gold! And on the other side, what’s the best thing that could happen? You could write something completely at random that leads you to an idea that creates a fascinating portion of a poem, short story or piece of fiction, even something to use in a piece of copy later on. Push yourself, even if you hate it and it makes you feel uncomfortable – after all if it doesn’t get you on the edge of your seat, will anyone else be on the edge of their seat whilst they read? A lot of emotion and anticipation is put into the art of writing at both spectrums.
But you shouldn’t wait to feel inspired or be scared to be perfect.
Getting writer’s block, is just like hitting a brick wall – although frustrating, is just part of the process and you have to smash through it and by doing these exercises it may help to overcome your blank space.
Writing is a practice, an art and can be difficult sometimes. But isn’t that the beauty of anything? The challenges help us to become better at our practice and that’s just how it is.
Keep pushing yourself for your 10% gold.
Of course, there are multiple ways to create ideas, these methods work for me – what are yours? Comment the ways you use to get out of writer’s block or find inspiration!
First of all, what a crazy few months it’s been since I have lived in Flat 3. Despite the fact that every time I go to my room I have to hike 6 flights of stairs because I live on top floor, I wouldn’t change a thing for the world (except maybe installing a lift).
No one really speaks about how strange it is moving away from home for the first time.
Moving in for me was honestly one of the most overwhelming things I have done. There is so much packing and organising, figuring out what to bring and what not to bring – do you bring that jumper that you know you will never wear but in the event of an emergency could just maybe pull it out of the back of your wardrobe? Do I bring my favourite pair of earrings or will I lose them on a night out? Do I bring my favourite mug or will it get smashed?
All I can say is that over-packing is a thing. You don’t need every single thing from home, just the most important things that you will definitely need.
I know this because as soon as I started to unpack I realised I had bought a lot more than I needed. My clothes are stored under my bed in boxes because there isn’t enough room in my wardrobe, my drawers are filled with my stationary and pens, and my shelves are filled with pictures and fake flowers.
Ofcourse, my room looks full and feels more like home, but I will definitely be taking some things that I don’t need home when I visit my family.
Also – a brand new 16 piece dining set isn’t essential either – I have 4 plates and mugs, 2 bowls, 3 glasses alongside some pots and pans – and trust me, you hardly use any of it. Squeezing kitchen-ware into a tiny cupboard is annoying enough, but you also have to remember that you will be washing all of this up after you have used it and it’s not the most attractive job after a full day of lectures and not enough sleep…
Despite this it was really exciting moving out, if not really terrifying, exhausting and emotional – but I suppose that’s just how moving on to a new chapter feels like and that’s just how it is.
To anyone who has tried blogging before – did anyone tell you how many times you would rewrite your first blog before even posting it?
To all of the people who have yet to start a blog – no one told me!
The fresh start at uni prompted me to start up a blog.
Deciding to start was a blog was a first, but writing the opening post is another. So despite reading Pinterest’s “Top 57 things to include in your first post” and after many searches for inspiration, I am doing this my way.
I’ve realised that no matter how many times you rewrite or try to find the perfect username, perfect profile picture or tag line – it wont help. A perfect blog doesn’t really exist and that’s okay, the point is that you put your whole self into it and just enjoy sharing.
I will start to write something more interesting than this but has anyone ever been through this really obvious realisation that starting is the hardest part? I guess that’s true with everything, you just have to work with it and that’s just how it is.
Read my experience on moving into uni in my “Moving in and moving on” blog https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/88483099/posts/2065213849
Hi! I am Chloe, a first year student from Bristol. I have created this personal blog to give a little insight into my own university experiences living away from home for the first time and keeping on top of my studies, whilst I try to figure it all out for myself!
I love to write and by having this blog I will not only get to share it with other people, but also remember all the wacky and wonderful things that I encounter as I get through this first year (and hopefully learn from for the second and third).
As well as writing about the ‘adventure’ that is university, I will be using this space to write about anything and everything just how it is so you can read real first hand experiences that don’t really get talked about.
I hope you enjoy reading my utmost inner thoughts and if there are any student blogs that anyone recommends please let me know as I would love to read them!