Saturday, June 4, 2016

Writer's Block

It has been a while since I've blogged. I miss this.

It's not that I haven't been writing at all; I've been working other things. I've been working on a couple of pieces for In All Things, and revising a chapter I've been writing with one of my professors. I have an article about half-way done too--still need to wrap up some data analysis before I can finish writing it. But the big one lately has been my dissertation proposal.

I had an afternoon blocked off to write the other day, so I started with a check of where things are. I have a draft of chapter 1 written, and got it back from my advisor with feedback. I'm pretty pleased with where things stand for that, actually, so I decided to go on and draft chapters 2 and 3. Chapter 2 (lit review) was overwhelming me--I have the outline written, and a ton of research already done, but I wasn't feeling it--so I went on to work on chapter 3 for a while (methodology.) I generated about 2 pages...

...and I hit a wall.

Writer's block struck: I ran out of ideas, nothing could string together, and I sat there staring at the screen.

This does happen to me once in a while. My go-to strategy is to read something new, to try and shake things up. Since I was working on methodology, I hit the library site and Google Scholar, and I wound up reading a few really good pieces about case study methodology in the field of EdTech, but I just couldn't make any headway. So I tried a change of venue; sometimes just packing up and walking someplace else and setting up to write again is enough to get me unstuck...but no joy. I was disheartened and dispirited. I decided to hang it up for the day and go home.

I hate that, because it feels like giving up. Usually I can at least write something, but there are days when nothing will come together. Writer's block is a real thing.

Image by NIcholas Flook [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]


  1. One of my favorite remedies is to get away from my classroom and find a picnic table next to the river at Oak Grove State Park. Ironically, as much as I enjoy it, the stuff I compose there tends to sound like I've been sitting by a river--blissfully disconnected from the daily struggles of classroom discipline. Sorry I don't have anything better to offer!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, my friend! It's good to know that others struggle with "the block" as well. I've heard helpful encouragement from many.

      Now, back to the writing for me! :-)