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Fragments and Writer’s Block

I started this blog posts with the best intentions. My husband and I had a conversation over beer and tater tots this weekend about information. How we get it, how it’s changed, and how it has stayed the same. It was a thought-provoking conversation and I talked about how when I was growing up, back before iTunes (GASP!), in Fargo (double GASP!) we mostly got our music from the radio or one of the only non-chain music stores. I remember many of my cousins bought their music from the local convenience store. Of course there were music clubs that would give you 60 cassette tapes of your choice for only 10-cents provided you signed up for a six-month members. But most of those clubs had no selection, either.

My plan was to write about the changes in information gathering and present it for a thought-provoking discussion – and I still might. But when I sat down at the computer the words just wouldn’t flow. I was going to tie it all together by writing about the last two guests on A Closer Look Radio who presented new ideas on marketing and where social media is taking it. But I couldn’t. The words wouldn’t flow, I had no cohesion and I felt like I was running up a hill made of sand. I was a little embarrassed.

So today rolls around and Pam is working on her newsletter and e-mails to ask if I have anything to contribute. I sheepishly e-mailed back and said I had lots of ideas but no glue or tape to turn them into a colorful collage. Pam, being the wise woman she is, said I should write about writer’s block.

Insert light bulb moment here. Duh!

A quick Google search on overcoming writer’s block gave me many text-heavy websites with common sense tips. I do write on a daily basis and I do set deadlines. What I need is something a bit more creative. If I finish this glass of wine will I write better? What if I go for a run? Meditate? Read a book on nuclear physics?

Sitting down writing this blog post has helped me realize that my inner-critic wanted my information evolution (ooh! Good title!) post to be perfectly formed and thought-out on the first try. I didn’t give myself any room to write paragraphs of crap and just get my ideas on paper. My friend Jaymi constantly reminds me I have permission to write a crappy first draft. I just need to believe it.


So, here’s my question to you: What do you do when you get blocked creatively? Do you do something else? Give up for a while? What are your tried and true tips? The lines are open! Comment and check back frequently.

Since you’ve read this far, I wanted to give a special shout out to my friend Kim who has started a finishing school to help creative people push through and finish those projects gathering dust in their closets and hard drives. Check out her blog post here to learn more.


About Anna Alexander

I get ideas. I write things. I sometimes follow through with those ideas. I also run long distances and live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband cat who lets us pay the mortgage on his house.

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