Things I Learned in College: Writer’s Block

Yes, folks.

I am currently in a writer’s block funk.

It sucks.

Not only am I having trouble coming up with new, fresh posts on WordPress, but I’m also struggling to write my three research papers (yes, three!) for school, as well as poems for my poetry class. Considering that my papers and final portfolio for my poetry workshop are due in a matter of three weeks, I am going through a *silently-panicking* phase where I am afraid of not being able to 1) finish on time, and 2) producing good work.

Seriously, this is my final term in college, and instead of planning for the summer, all I can think about is schoolwork and blogging. Both of which I am having difficulty in.

Really, folks. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL.

Let’s start with my research papers. I have two English papers, and one for my science-based course. I have the ideas down, the evidence to back it up, but the things that are tripping me up right now are:

1) My theses. I have the arguments, but I’m not sure if they are “good enough” for the rest of the paper- meaning, I try to be specific on my topic, but not too specific so that I can incorporate other sources into my paper without having it go off-topic. If anything, theses are one of the most frustrating aspects about papers. 😛

2) Coming up with evidence/reasoning to back up my theses. So hard… I mean, I have the sources that I want to use, but really, it is a battle trying to fight through the mental block. Even with analytic papers, there comes a certain degree of creativity to reasoning; in other words, I am compelled to write something at once new and refreshing for the literary world, but also have it tie back to my theses. Having a page/word-count for these papers (ranging from 5 to 15 pages) also isn’t helping, either, as I tend to go under the limit and later have to pull something from my ass just to squeeze by.

As for poetry, my main concern is having something presentable for my class. I have plenty of drafts of different poems at home, but none of them seem “ready,” or as polished as I would like them to be. I blame myself for setting such a high bar from myself at the beginning of this school term, for my poetry workshop; I had written poems which I considered pretty polished, and now, I am in a grind trying to figure out how to execute this particularly piece that I’m currently working on before I need to submit it this Sunday. I am definitely not happy with it, but I have no idea how to make it work for me. And if this wasn’t already a struggle, I don’t even know what I will do for the following week’s poem.

…and blogging: I still have some *general* topics that I can write about, aside from the serial ones like “Things I Learned in College” and Poetry Wednesdays. But my pool of new, original ideas is a bit…low. And it’s making it harder for me to find things to blog about daily, which was a goal that I’d set myself at the beginning of this year (and, with the exception of travel, I’ve been blogging every day). I don’t plan to stop blogging every day, as I am a person of my word. 😛

In any case: what I am trying to say (or rather complain) is that, even with having writer’s block, I know that, in the back of my mind, this is only temporary and that will all be over once I actually buckle down and get to work. I admit, I do blame myself for procrastinating a bit more than usual, especially given that it is almost the end of the school year and the end of my college career. I can’t force myself to unblock my writer’s block, but I think it’ll naturally come undone once I start working. That means I will have to chain myself to the desk for the whole day and just…write. Not worry too much about making it perfect the first time- it’s never perfect the first time, anyway.

And hopefully, along the way I will actually…like it. 🙂

– The Finicky Cynic

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11 thoughts on “Things I Learned in College: Writer’s Block

  1. Wow, writer’s block sure doesn’t sound fun. I myself am fearful that I’ll run out of things to blog about, even if I do only post once a week or so. If you need to prioritize your work right now, don’t let it put you further into any mental funk. Above all, think positive; you’ll finish your papers and poetry, and it’s an adventure that’ll certainly be future blog material. 🙂

  2. Wow you sure do pile the pressure on yourself and blame. I felt stressed reading it, which I guess is a compliment to your good writing. May I suggest breathing for a bit. You know, a couple of deep breaths. And let go of the negative judgements. They are distracting your brain. You are a great writer, so I’m sure your poems are good. With all the adrenaline that this piece seems to hold, I’m pretty sure that once you let go and allow yourself to flow you will write something brilliant. This is just the adrenaline build up before a good race, no adrenaline means you can’t run. You are ready to run. But you do need oxygen to think, so remember to breathe.

    1. Thank you for your advice. Yes, I really should take a breath and not be too stressed. I think my element poem on “Air” today is pretty apt for my situation right now! 😉

  3. Have you ever explored other genres of poetry youmight not normally consider, such as spoken-word poetry? Thanks to this post, I just decided to tweak one about writer’s block and publish it here on WP! Start with ideas you might not have considered previously and go from there! Good luck!

    1. I haven’t tried spoken word poetry, although I’ve been to a few slams and readings. I’ve been trying to experiment with prose, so that’s a start! Thanks for your advice. 🙂

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