Today, May 1, kicks off the annual WordCount Blogathon, a monthlong blogging challenge in which participants blog every day in May. I decided to participate in the Blogathon because blogging consistently will improve my writing skills. But I also want to get used to writing under deadline pressure, which journalists face, because I’m interested in journalism.
A handful of students in my Multimedia Journalism class are also participating in Blogathon. Blogging for 31 consecutive days will be challenging, but monitoring my peers’ progress will encourage me to persevere if I begin to feel overwhelmed from blogging every day.
I’ve compiled a short list of things that help me write, particularly when I struggle with writer’s block.
Coffee, tea and energy drinks help me brainstorm ideas and topics to write about. They also keep me awake and alert, even when I’m tired. However, consuming too much caffeine can lead to addiction and developing a tolerance to it.
Exercise clears my head and organizes my thoughts so I can write in a clear, concise manner.
Constantly writing in the same place makes my writing stale. Writing in different environments, like at the library or coffee shop, helps keeps my creativity flowing.
Pen and paper
Writing by hand seems old fashion, with computers, tablets and smart phones surrounding me at school, work and home. But writing by hand, particularly after staring at a blank computer screen, helps me overcome writer’s block. I also prefer editing hard copies of stories, rather than their digital copies.
I’m more focused and productive at school than when I’m at home. When I write at school, I avoid procrastinating and my stories turn out well written.
Free writing is a timed writing session, typically lasting about 15 minutes, though it can last however long it’s needed. The purpose of free writing is to write nonstop for its entire duration, not even stopping to correct spelling or grammatical errors, to foster creativity and spark ideas.
Just do it
I struggle with this one. But sometimes what most helps me to write, especially if I’m stuck with writer’s block or simply unmotivated, is to just do it — and write.