It’s 4:00 AM the day of the midnight deadline of the most important paper you have ever written.
Your roommates are fast asleep and the only things keeping you awake are your thoughts and six cups of coffee. You know you should have written this paper weeks ago, but time has passed and at this point all you can do is get your work done with the time crunch you created.
The problem is that for the past three hours...
all you have been doing is staring at a blank page unable to compile your thoughts into the masterpiece you know you can create. You can’t seem to figure out what is stopping you from writing, but you do know that you definitely cannot write. Perhaps you are scared of actually putting your ideas on paper. It could be that you are spending more time beating yourself up for not knowing what to write than you are actually writing. Maybe you think you can’t write until you have every idea perfectly pictured in your mind. Whatever the reason, you are stuck and you need to know how to get back on track.
You decide to try and clear your mind.
You realize being awake for countless hours on end could be frying your brain, so you take a nap. One deep sleep and three hours later, you wake up ready to write. You open your computer, touch each fingertip to the keyboard, take a deep breath, and finally….wait, still nothing. You look at everything you have written so far, but cannot collect the inspiration to continue.
You now have six pages, seventeen hours, and zero ideas left.
Your next course of action is to take a brief walk. You slip on your sandals and grab your keys praying that inspiration will soon consume your thoughts. Sights of sunshine, freshly cut grass and students rushing to class surround you, but nothing catches your eye. The stress of knowing that your paper’s deadline is quickly approaching is the only thing on your mind, even though you know it is only holding you back. You need to clear your mind. You see an acquaintance and share an awkward hello.
You hear a bird and admire its sweet song.
You feel the soft grass and wave to a friend. You notice details in the world that you never noticed before–suddenly, it hits you. You sprint back to your room, plop down at your desk, and write. You feel every thought melodiously pouring out of your mind and converting into words. You write until your hands hurt. You write until your brain is crying for a break. You write until you hear your heart beating faster than someone running a marathon. You are no longer racing against the clock. Minutes before the deadline you take a step back and just like that–you’re done. You pat yourself on the back, get ready for a long night of sleep, and prepare for the cycle to start again when your next assignment is due….tomorrow.