Busting Through Road Blocks

Anyone who has written knows the pain of facing a creative block. Sometimes it happens right when you least expect it; in the middle of a paragraph, right before a deadline, or when a project depends on the wording and suddenly you have no direction.

The most common one for me, and my least favorite, is the ‘just getting started’ creative block. Fortunately, that is also the easiest one to break through. Here are three sure-fire ways to get past that first sentence.

  1. Say Anything – Long gone are the days when writing things was a costly and time intensive endeavor. Hand-pounded papyrus, quills, and chiseled tablets are now the stuff of hobbyists and, more likely than not, you’re working on a computer somewhere. Write whatever comes to your mind first and fix it later.
  2. Bookends can wait – If you simply can’t write a solid introduction without a heavy dose of inspiration, then don’t. Write a full-sentence outline of your main points and then fill in the transitions. When you’ve finished the meaty insides of  your post, then you’ll know how to best introduce it.
  3. Get a Prompt – When all else fails, find a question out there to answer. A big one or small one, having something to answer takes away half the battle. I recommend The Daily Post or, for some of our poets out there, describing a photo from Instagram.

I will leave you with a subversive piece of advice that I give to parents who want to ‘get their girls into tech’. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to have a single-topic passion from the start. Passion is something we learn by practicing and mastering an activity and mastery comes in small chunks and minor errors.

Every error is a learning opportunity or moment to change course. Embrace it and write with courage.

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