Unblocking the writing block – what works for me

So, it appears I will be able to continue into 2nd year as the examination board of my course has agreed that I can carry on the expected 100 hours of client work into the next stage of my studies. This is quite a relief but it comes with the pressing thought that I’d need to catch up with hours whilst trying to meet the 150 hours expected for year 2!*gulp*… I have also finally received all my grades on work I’ve done during year and I’m beyond pleased to realise that I haven`t failed anything in year 1! To be honest, I find this hard to believe and I’m still thinking things like ‘’maybe there is some other assignment left that I’ve forgotten about’’. Fortunately, in year 1 most of the work took form of assignments, reports, studies etc., and nothing from the sort of a viva or presentations, like M had to do.. *phew*.

I don’t think I got great marks and I don`t consider myself an excellent academic, but it seems I have done something right and will attempt to repeat it. I was told that year 2 will bring along an increased number of written works and of course – more close deadlines. So, I was thinking back on all those times when I felt that I just don`t want to think or touch anything psychology related, let alone complete a decent assignment, added to the stress..stress..stress of placements, supervision and whatever else.

Thinking back, I can say that I have come up with a personalized working strategy which I’m gonna share here (in case I forget it :P ) that seems to have helped me go through the year. First and most important is the old saying ‘’know yourself!’’ What I mean is this- I know that I am NOT able to write anything in the last minute. It’s simply impossible for me to start 3-2-1 days before the deadline, and no, it’s not because I’m such a diligent student. It is purely because if I have so little time left I just wouldn’t want to go through the pain and struggle of sleepless nights..not even one! No way! I just value my sleep too much and no assignment is worth more than my peaceful sleep!! I know many students would disagree, but this is what I mean when I say –know yourself and what works for you.

What works for me in fact is much beyond a peaceful sleep. It’s more like a Zen-chilled type of mood that I need. I’m aware of how pretentious what I’m gonna write down may sound..but writing is not something that comes easy at times when I just have to do it. I normally start an assignment about 3 weeks before the deadline and try to follow a very chilled routine. This includes waking up at around 9, having my coffee and emails in the morning..dog out for a long walk, clean up a bit or do some workout, or just lazy around at home if that’s what I fancy. At around 1 or 2pm I try to gradually start writing, not pushing myself too much. If I’m not in the right mood yet (this happens if I get pissed off in the morning by some unpaid or new bill in the post, annoying email, or even my dog pulling me around too much, lol, god..i can be such a princess) Anyways, if I’m in a bad mood I would try to do some creative work normally decorate, move furniture or fix something in the garden and let my serotonin does its job.

Once I’m beginning to write, music is also very important. Whilst writing I can`t listen to music with lyrics (especially in a language I understand). This is because I end up listening to the songs, so I typically go for relaxing feng shui music. Apparently, some of those songs contain sounds with brainwave stimulation that improves your concentration (I don`t know if that’s the case but it works for me regardless). In fact, I have a favourite album which comes to the rescue when I’m completely blocked in my work. I think knowing the songs well allows my mind to relax. This is the one,lol:

So, at times I’d stop writing at around 5-6pm or go on till late in the evening. In case that the day is too busy or doesn’t allow me to chill, I just decide not to write (I try not to postpone, I just decide – so that I don’t need to think about it for the rest of the day).

The problem with the above scenario is that it’s hard to achieve on daily basis, considering traveling around and other money-related responsibilities. So it’s been very hard to find the time and have a reduced stress assignment-writing experience, but it has definitely worked for me, and I intend to keep using it..hopefully it will get me through year 2 as painless as possible (which btw starts next week :/ ). I wonder what other people’s copying strategies are..or do they have ones?!?



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