These past few weeks have been hectic and crazy; with midterms FINALLY over and finals looming in the distance (t-minus 26 days), I’ve been falling into a writing slump. Not only have I not been keeping up with Purpology, but I haven’t been maintaining my own blog nor my paperback journal/scrapbook.
When I first started blogging (way back in 2012) I knew I would fall off the wagon and have weeks and months where there would be radio silence. However, I remember making a promise to myself that if and when I hit the dreaded writer’s block, I would fight to get back onto the wagon.
My writing experience has definitely been an interesting one. From blogging to journalling to scrapbooking and everything in between, I’ve tried it all. As someone who isn’t artistic in the slightest (sorry mom), I turned to writing as my creative release. Throughout my life I’ve started countless diaries and journals, each filled about halfway with recaps of my day-to-day activities. However, starting isn’t quite the same as finishing: never in my life have I actually filled an entire book. I would enthusiastically start writing each day for a month or two, but would find less and less to say as the months wore on. Eventually, I would either lose the journal entirely or just give it up. Why couldn’t I stay motivated enough to finish even a measly 200 page journal in my entire 19 years of life?
As I got older and moved to blogging, I began realizing that journalling is more than just writing a “Dear Diary” entry and moving on. Blogging on Tumblr became a platform for me to not only share my daily thoughts, but to “reblog” and share any pictures or quotes or other people’s writings that I found relatable, funny, beautiful, heartbreaking, and interesting. This not only made blogging more fun, but also took off that looming pressure of having to create content on a daily basis. From my own personal entries to the photos I reblogged from others, each post provided an overall bigger snapshot of my life and feelings from that time. Even now, I can scroll through my archives and pinpoint where I was in my life at the time the post was created.
Moving from Tumblr back to a physical journal was the next leg in my writing journey. Over the summer I decided to give writing another try. Taking what I learned from my experience on Tumblr, I turned my journal into a scrapbook. From movie ticket stubs to event stickers to grocery lists scribbled onto a sticky note, I started cultivating a physical snapshot collection of my life. Between these pages I wrote about anything I could write about. Overnight, I could feel a change in the way I perceived writing. No longer did I feel pressured to create a written piece; rather I realized that a picture is worth a thousand words. I realized that I wanted to keep a journal not to document everything that happened in my life, but as an emotional outlet consisting of writing and art.
What happens though, once you settle into the daily routines of school and no longer have exciting adventures to throw into your scrapbook? This is what I’m trying to figure out right now. My summer was a wild and crazy whirlwind of concerts, movies, roadtrips, and friends. However, now that I’ve come back to Western, my life has settled into a routine: home, school, library. Wash, rinse, and repeat. There’s only been so much for me to write about before I feel like I’m just saying the same things over and over again. It’s hard to find that motivation to create content when you’re living the same life every single day. Once the stress of school hits, coupled with assignments and quizzes and exams, my mind isn’t in “creative mode” but rather “study and panic mode”. I had nothing to say, and when I did I didn’t know how to say it.
If you’re thinking of starting a blog or journal or even just writing in general, the most important thing I’ve learned is to accept writer’s block. Accept that there will be times where you’ll have nothing to say. This is perfectly normal and fine. Sometimes, life just gets the better of us and it’s more productive to just spend our time on other things other than writing. The more you stress about it, the more pressure you’ll feel to create something that’s “worthy” of making up for all the times you didn’t write. Instead, try to remember that blogging and journalling is a different experience for different people. For some, it’s an extension of memories that allows you to look back 5 years from now and go “I remember that!”. For others, it’s an emotional outlet. It doesn’t matter how many times you stumble on writer’s block, but rather how many times you get up and continue to keep going.
As for me, I’m still trying to figure out why I write.