An Empty Tank

In preparing this week’s entry, I struggled to choose a topic: the singular ‘they’, ‘because’ as a position, past neologisms we now take for granted, the work-life balance, even the events of 11 September 2001.

I managed to start writing a couple of these topics, and I couldn’t even begin on the others. Either I ran out of material or lost my enthusiasm halfway through. I hesitate to use the term ‘writer’s block’, because I didn’t have trouble beginning these entries, only carrying on to form them into the shape of a coherent blog post.

Русский: Это мои коты
I also couldn’t decide which picture would best illustrate my point, so here are two cats. I hear felines are perennially popular on the Internet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my experience, there are two main strategies for overcoming this difficulty. Strategy 1 is for when a deadline isn’t looming: I’ll leave it aside and go for a walk or do something else while the idea sorts itself out in my head.

However, I’m writing this on Sunday with the time fast approaching 3pm. Although it’s more than 24 hours until I publish, eight of these will be spent in bed, another eight will be spent at the office, and I would like to leave some time to proofread the text before it goes live. So Strategy 2 involves writing and writing until something usable appears on the screen. Just as you’re more likely to win a raffle prize if you buy more tickets – although it’s never guaranteed – you also have more chance of finding the right words when you write more of them.

As for the topics listed in the first paragraph, I’ll leave them aside for the moment and I might come back to them for a future entry.

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2 thoughts on “An Empty Tank

  1. I had a similar experience this week. I’m wanting to do more commentary on my blog and less diary. I have a fair few drafts on WordPress because by the time Monday rolls along, it’s yesterday’s news. Are those drafts worthless? I feel they are, as they are not being used; I probably won’t redraft and post them. However they have ensured that I have at least written something!

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    1. Yes, it’s definitely a good thing to have written something, even if it doesn’t make the final version. I’m a big fan of keeping work long-term.

      For instance, I wrote a short story about a young woman who starts university and keeps a diary. I then virtually forgot about it. Two years later, I was looking back over my old work, desperate to find a structure for a larger piece. I was able to expand and improve the story, and I’m currently adapting it for the stage.

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