Breaking through Writer's Block and Making Messy Word Salads

Breaking through Writer's Block and Making Messy Word Salads

Haven’t been writing on the Guild as frequently in the last month because I had a serious case of writer’s block. What’s interesting is that I have a general idea of an area of interest and I start my mind map on it. Eventually, it becomes a monster and there are just too many ideas. Sometimes the ideas are not quite related and I need to focus on a particular area. It feels like I have a lot deleted scenes in the DVD bonus features section. Lots of stuff that got are on the cutting room floor. But they might turn into something interesting in another story. Now I’m getting a sense of what writers might be feeling.

The last post I wrote up had an initial count of 4,000 words. I felt like George R.R. Martin trying to write his next Song of Ice & Fire book. There was a large post that just got out of control and I didn’t know how to end it. I put it away and did other things and eventually started chipping away at it. Thankfully, it ended up at nearly 2,300 words. Still a little long but certainly much better than what I had originally drafted.

Do you enjoy the deep dives I’ve been attempting? That’s my question. Sometimes I do see a blog post but it starts scrolling for several screens. On some days, I’ll enjoy a long deep dive. On other days, I just enjoy a short 500 word post.

I worry that I’ve gotten word diarrhea and I start rambling on and on. I’m still learning the art of editing and trimming down the fat. But I guess that’s the writer’s journey. Just keep writing and learn to focus on the topic. There have been a few podcasts that I had to unsubscribe from because the hosts would go off on wild tangents and I couldn’t remember what they were talking about originally. But some of these wild rabbit trails are interesting.

I’m also noticing that many of my personal productivity experiments are starting to take longer to coalesce. I need about 10 days working with a new workflow to set in. But it takes at least another 2 months to see if it actually becomes a part of my daily/weekly/monthly workflow. How long does it take you to get a new experiment working? How long does it take before you give it up and say "it’s just not for me?"

I didn’t realize that my last experiment would end up being nearly 4 weeks before I was able to get it into a form that I would actually use. But I guess that’s the nature of experiments. They are always unpredictable and I might get results that I didn’t expect. I never know when it becomes something I actually like. Maybe it’ll be an accepted practice for the next few months but I’ll fall out of it when I no longer need it. I tried hyper scheduling and it wasn’t for me. I tried using a Franklin-Covey Planner for a few months and it served me well during my college years but it just didn’t click in my life today.

I’ve still got a few experiments coming up. I prefer taking on experiments one at a time so that I don’t go crazy trying to juggle too many balls in the air.

I think @justindirose’s short podcasts will help counter my longer posts (word salads). I am still trying to find that right balance of article lengths. But there’s just so much in the world to discover.

If you have any thoughts, insights, or experiments cooking in your life, please share with the rest of us!

Have a great summer, everybody!

1 Like

@wilsonng I think you’re doing a great job! You’re sharing your workflows and ideas, and that’s the main point. We’re a community here, and, frankly I’m not concerned about the quality of the writing right now as I am the quality of the content. Get my difference?

If we’re talking about interesting concepts and thoughts, that’s what’s going to add value to all of us here, whether it’s 100% well written or not.

Alternatively, it’s also really common to see (out there in the productivity world anyway) well-written articles with out a lot of substance.

It’s the conversation that matters most here!