How To Deal With Writer's Block

How To Deal With Writer's Block

Suggestion 1: Take a nap!
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Sometimes you just can't figure out what to write about! Whether it be an Odyssey article or an essay for school, sometimes your mind just doesn't want to think and your fingers don't want to type. But for writing an Odyssey article, here are a few tips on how to help with that writer's block.

First, take a nap! I am the queen of naps and I have to say that after a good and long nap, you will feel refreshed and maybe some inspiration will come your way! You could even write about a dream you may have had or something that has been on your mind.

Second, think about writing about real-life situations. What is going on in the world whether it be news, sports, problems in your local area. People want to hear about real things and real opinions. A great thing about Odyssey is that you have creative freedom and can take any stance you want about issues you may want to write about.

Thirdly, think about all of the things you love and write about that. This could also create a great listicle piece. I recently write about Lululemon because I love their products. You could write about your favorite Hulu or Netflix shows, your college campus, your favorite restaurants or food and so much more!

Hopefully these are some helpful tips to help you think about what to write about when you're struggling with writer's block!

Cover Image Credit: pexels

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10 Things I Learned From Growing Up In A Town Smaller Than A College Campus

A town straight out of a country song.

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With a population of just over 1,000, my hometown has given me so much in my 19 years of life. It's taught me things I would've never learned anywhere else (whether that be good or bad).

1. You know everyone and everyone knows you

This is so true, especially if you're a part of a big family. You're not only somehow related to everyone, but everyone knows which family you belong to. I can't go anywhere in town without at least one person recognizing me (which isn't a bad thing). If you were in the newspaper, there's a slight chance that multiple people will tell you as soon as they see you.

2. High school sports (especially football) are no joke 

As someone who cheered for four years, there's truly nothing like home football games. The sound of the crowd roaring behind you, the tunnel at the beginning of the games, and the sunsets gleaming onto the field. My senior year the football team almost went to state for the first time in 22 years. It was a HUGE deal for the community. The football players were like local celebrities and it was such an exciting time for everyone. There truly isn't anything better the spirit that surrounds small-town sports.

3. High school homecoming is a big deal for everyone

Unlike larger schools, basketball and football homecomings in my small town were like one big reunion for everyone. We have an elaborate theme for each homecoming and the Stu-co spent all day decorating it. The gym and sidelines were usually packed with people coming home to see old friends, to find out which candidate gets crowned queen, and to cheer on the athletes.

4. You live about an hour from just about everything

When I tell my college friends that I live an hour from the nearest Target, they think I'm joking. I'm being completely serious. If you needed some new clothes and shoes for school you had to make a whole day out of it. You also tried to schedule all of your doctors' appointments around the same time so you didn't have to make so many trips. An idea of a family outing meant going to a nice restaurant in "the big city" and seeing the newest movie. Something fun to do with my friends meant driving 30 minutes to get coffee, Sonic, or even just fooling around in Walmart. If we were really desperate, we even cruised the backroads listening to our favorite music.

5. You have so much respect for farmers and agriculture

I come from a family of farmers and my good friends in high school were daughters of cattle and dairy farmers. The farmers in my town are some of the kindest, smartest and most hardworking people I will probably ever meet. Seeing agriculture work in and out of my town has caused me to have so much respect for farmers and the industry. I've been caught behind a tractor and learned the hard way to not stop close to a stop-sign if a semi is turning my way. Yet I truly wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

6. High school relationships can get a little tricky

Dating in a high school of 100-something people was pretty hard. They were either related to you, taken, or like a brother to you. If you did find someone to talk to, there's a 90% chance that they've also talked to one of your friends. Most of the drama in my high school was an effect of someone dating someone else's ex.

7. You know everyone you graduated with

You don't just know them, you really know them. You know their full names, what their families do for a living, and who showed up at their kids' sporting events and who didn't. When you graduate with only 30-something other kids, it's hard not to know everyone on a super personal level.

8. When times get tough, people are always there for you

When a family of the community suddenly lost a loved one, the community immediately wrapped their arms around them and comforted them. Whether it was bringing meals to the grieving family, selling memorial T-shirts and bracelets, housing benefit dinners, or just being there for the family. If you were going through something heavy, someone always had your back.

9. You feel so loved coming home from college

I remember sitting in a lecture hall half the size of my hometown on the first day of classes and feeling overwhelmed. I thought, "How is anybody supposed to make friends at a college of 35,000 people?"

The first night home from college, I was welcomed home with open arms by everyone. I was reunited with former teachers, coaches, classmates, old friends and adults of the community. As much as I love college, it was so nice coming home to a place where everyone knows me.

10.  You couldn't of asked for a better upbringing

As much as I was ready to move to a bigger place after high school, growing up in a small town was the best thing I could ask for. It gave me a sense of community, support, and love that I wouldn't have been able to get elsewhere. My town sent me to college with enough support and encouragement to last a lifetime.

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I, An Internet-Addicted Teen, Cut Off All Social Media For A Week And Journaled My Painful Every Day Experience

One teenager's quest to find out whether social media is the thing rotting his brain or keeping it all together.

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Social media gets a bad rap nowadays, and it's hard not to think that it's only criticized for being something new and hip, like when grandparents start a story with "back in my day, we didn't have-" or when parents look down on memes as stupid and juvenile. I personally love memes, and I certainly am not sold on the whole "social media is ruining this generation" uproar.

To prove my social media reliance hasn't ruined my life or anything, I set out to see how a week without posting, commenting and scrolling would affect my state of mind. The following are journal entries I typed for each day of my social media-less expedition:

Monday

Today I set some ground rules: no Instagram, no Snapchat, no Reddit, no Facebook (as if any self-respecting teenager still used Facebook). I later chose to exclude iMessage from the challenge in case of emergency (more probably because I couldn't live without it), and I made the executive decision to stay on GroupMe so I won't miss every club meeting and "urgent" announcement from our grade leaders.

I imagined it would be difficult, but not impossible. I think I was right; as of yet, this challenge has been a series of problems and quick fixes. For example, I accidentally opened the Instagram app a dozen times today, so I moved all my social apps to a separate page on my home screen so as to control my thumbs.

And since my eyes still craved the stimulation of social media, I replaced my entire social media folder with the News app to keep me busy. I spent a LOT of time scrolling through the news. (Apparently, a bug on group FaceTime let you listen in on the other person without them accepting the call. That's pretty crazy, I guess.)

Tuesday

Today I used the social media challenge as my excuse for forgetting to respond to my mom's text. It was an iMessage so I would have been within my own rules to respond, but it was believable nonetheless. I'd say this whole situation is worth it just for that.

School was cancelled for a supposed winter storm (not a flake fell that day), which gave me a lot of minutes to kill off of my usual sites, so I opted for playtime on the Nintendo Switch and scrolling through News. Evidently, I haven't increased my productivity or unlocked the remaining 90 percent of my brain as one would hope. I did, however, cling to weather updates to find out whether school was cancelled for Wednesday. The lack of snow meant bad news.

Wednesday (after having to go to school)

I honestly didn't think about social media that much today. There was no FOMO or anything, mostly because I'm the type of person who sees a rant post or food selfie and thinks "Okay, thanks?" I kept reading the news between class periods to have an excuse to stare at my phone in the halls — apparently that's where a large part of my social media usage comes from. Whenever I don't know what to do with my hands, I turn to my phone.

Thursday

My phone situation was a major crisis throughout the day. For one, I overestimated my battery conservation skills and went into a school show with seven percent battery. On several instances, I considered risking everything to take a picture of the performers, but ultimately, the fact that I couldn't post it right away kept me from trying. I guess that means my photo-taking is more superficial than I want to believe. I mean, if there's no photo and no way to post it, did the moment even happen?

To make matters worse, there were no clips or pictures on Instagram of the show to rewatch. The only thing I had was an angry text from a friend that read "WHY WONT U REPLY TO MY SNAP??"

Friday

Surprisingly, I forgot the challenge was ending and had to be reminded by a friend. Less surprisingly, I immediately opened Instagram and scrolled through my feed. Nothing terribly interesting to see.

SEE ALSO: My One Week Social Media Detox Made Me Realize Time Is A Precious Gift

I expected some vague sense of liberation, but I don't actually think regaining social media has made me any happier than I was during the week, but to be clear, it hasn't made me more "superficial" either. Having other people's posts as entertainment was just easily replaceable with other pastimes, activities I probably enjoyed more than the usual Twitter scroll.

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