Ask Michelle

So today on Twitter, E. asked me the following: “I am currently blocked for my scholarship essays. Do you have any suggestions?”

We get blocked for all kinds of writing. No matter how long we have been writing. For seemingly all sorts of reasons.

So yes, I do have suggestions for moving past this.

The first is show up to write anyway. Don’t give a block the space to keep you from what you’re trying to accomplish. E., the scholarships are important, and you have to show up for them, if you really want them. So even when you’re blocked, sit down in the spirit of writing the thing.

The second tip is to write whatever comes to mind. This may be stressful because of the deadlines you have, but perhaps you need to do some free writing. Ask yourself on your blank computer screen or journal why am I blocked? Write whatever comes to mind. Write until you can write no more.

Third, connect with your deep why. This is another great journal exercise. Why are you going for what you’re going for (scholarship, tenure, job, whatever)? Make sure it’s what YOU want and that you’re not on a path that you “should” do. Often, your deep why will lead you write back to unblocking whatever is in your way.

Finally, be kind to yourself. Treat yourself well. Reward yourself with whatever. Maybe it’s a meditation or a nice drink of water. A walk outside. Coffee. Reward yourself for showing up and giving what you’re writing the good old college try.

So there you have it E. and those of you who are up against writer’s block. I’m afraid that, except for be kind to yourself, the answer is to write, write, and write some more. Just not the thing that you are “supposed to be” writing.

And if you need more help, send me an email and I’d be happy to give you a hand.