Writer’s block is a weird thing. I’m fortunate in that I can almost always sit down at the keyboard and start tapping out thoughts. Where I struggle, though, is getting beyond that first writing session. One of the great things about blogging is that it is largely a first draft medium. Have some thoughts on the Super Bowl, politics, or a stupid TV show? Sit down, crank them out, post them. Quick, relatively painless, and with the satisfaction of being published where anyone in the world can find them.
But when I have an idea that demands more than 20 minutes of writing, it often ends up languishing. I’ve got notebooks full of short stories that are a third completed, 1500 word essays on some pretty weighty subjects, and random notes that could be used as the basis for something longer. It seems that if I can’t complete something in a single session, or sometimes two, it’s destined to be forgotten. Example: I recently had a great idea for a humorous column I could submit to our campus newspaper. We have a weekly paper that, well, isn’t all that good, so I figured I was sure to get published. Two weeks ago I sat down and in 30 minutes had a pretty solid draft. It definitely needed some work, but I figured another 30 minutes and I’d have something worthy of submission. Over the past 14 days, while I’ve thought a lot about how to finish the piece, I’ve only done some minor editing here and there. In addition to all the other purposes for graduate school, finding a way to get some of these ideas to a completed stage is clearly a priority as well. The bonus is if I never end up getting this column finished, I’ll just post it here for your pleasure. The blog readers get over on the general public once again!