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Writing in Confinement: Getting Out of Productivity Slumps (Humble Advice from a Self-Help Nerd)

Lauren, "Lola" Marquez, Student Council VP of Communications

Writing in Confinement: Getting Out of Productivity Slumps (Humble Advice from a Self-Help Nerd)

So, you’re officially “stuck” at home (hopefully by choice because you’re a good samaritan) living the self-proclaimed writers’ lifestyle during the COVID-19 outbreak. Staying safe, keeping busy so the impending news coverage doesn’t sweep you away. Good. I’m proud of you, but you, like many writers or creators, do not understand this lifestyle entirely if you’re here and that’s ok. Let me, a self-proclaimed poet, show you the ways of my people. And also provide some great tips for getting started with college essay writing! This article applies to all those who also deem themselves of the self-proclaimed writing procrastinator title and have general procrastination tendencies.

 

Preface:

Not everyone holes up to write on the weekends; most poets I know perform more than they write, as I did before I got deeper into the craft. Wherever you’re at, that is ok, you are now given this new opportunity to design your life to the best of your ability living at home either with family/roommates or simply alone. (but you do not have to be lonely, nor bored my friend)

                                                                                                Side note:

Do not add “self-proclaimed” three times in one introduction it will make your writing insufferable.

 

First of all,

Trash all ideas that you are not a writer (or do-er of whatever you want to do) immediately.

            If you paint, you’re a painter, if you stamp, you’re a stamper, make bread, a baker. As you stay home you are going to be taking on many roles. You may think that these labels and designated spaces to live within are reserved for the best experts at all of this, but here you would be wrong. Just as anyone can become a singer online so too, can you. Labels mean what you make of them, and being a poet I like to eradicate all ideas of what we think words should mean. So as a writer, I officially give you permission to do the same.

 

Secondly,

Be brutally horrible before you make anything make sense.

            Writing is not everyone’s expertise, however, the best way to start is to create your worst draft. If you still don’t believe you're good, try to laugh at yourself! Life is not as serious as it lets on to be sometimes, and this applies equally within the realm of writing. I know this was a big inhibition of mine when it came to writing in my earlier grades. As if me being a C student in sixth grade made me inadequate to create superb works of Princess Fiction! (Don’t worry my grades did get better; I am a grateful member of NSHSS) Something talked about quite often is this concept of planning to do work horribly first; it can be a controversial topic of productivity, but I find this is how I write some of my best works. When you lose inhibiting concepts and understand how to get your inner monologues to work in a positive way you’ll be able to control much of your life the same way. And as everyone may be tweaking how they work to accommodate a new lifestyle for the next few months, it could be something to consider. (Also you may run out of things to do, so consider away!)

 

Thirdly,

Fine, don’t start, but write an outline

            Let me write this too in bold so you will remember

                                    If you have an idea.

                                    Write it down.

  • Oprah Winfrey (Probably, this is not fact-checked).

            Life is too short to let your ideas go to waste! Even if you think they are terrible! Many people (in my humble opinion) read horrible poetry!! And many of those poets still make money (somehow). Just as horrible musicians who are beautiful, or are pop do too. Just as terrible painters in your eyes could sell pieces of garbage for millions of dollars because to someone else it is artistic excellence. Stop denigrating yourself and at least plot some bullet points. I wrote this very article by doing so, and when you do and read over it, you’ll find you need to specify. Because your points come from your own place of personal opinion and therefore passion to keep going; it doesn’t need to be a perfected art form from the beginning. For those stuck here read on.

 

Lastly,

There is no one way to write.

            If your writing style consists of you being in a jacuzzi with an old school inkpot looking like a new age, hair in a bun, Hermione Granger, go for it. What best suits you, will best suit your needs and your values and at the end of the day, there is no one process to start your writing or your progress. Remember there is no real rush besides deadlines (if you didn’t start early get on it now 🖤 here is your permission), at the end of the day Oprah didn’t garner traction until she was around 35. And she is quite wise when it comes to words (she is to me, this is the last parenthesis but she’s got a little book club and I would highly recommend). It may just be yourself getting in the way, and how you navigate ignoring your unproductive self and get on with the things you love to do will be the tools you will carry on with you past COVID-19.

 

Stay safe,

            Stay. Indoors.

And most of all

keep writing.

(or going, maybe you need the inspiration to build a cabinet, this may also be applicable)

Sincerely,

L