#weekendcoffeeshare: 5/21/16

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Hello! I’m so glad you’re back for our #weekendcoffeeshare! It’s raining outside so bring your coffee and let’s sit on the couch in my office and chat. It’s so good to see you. Do you think the rain is ever going to end?

How has your week been? You’re suffering from writer’s block? That is so frustrating, isn’t it. What do you usually do when that happens? I need to know because it happens  to me too. So you leave your writing and do other things for awhile? I guess that’s one approach, but I’ll have to disagree. If I step away, I step away for a long time — too long. What works for me is to push through it. Instead of writing about topics in what is supposed to be my niche, I go outside my niche and write about something else I know about. After all, we all know about more than one topic, don’t we? Couple our knowledge with good research and there you have it. Suddenly, we’re writing again, though maybe about something new. Maybe we can sell this piece to a different editor or publisher and we will have a wider market for our writing.

I’ll tell you what I did once. I was having trouble finding topics in the niche I considered my own so I went far afield with my writing. I had always been interested in writing about Appalachia but I had never tackled any topic in that area. On the campus of the University here, where I taught for a long time, is a little piece of Appalachian history, the Cora Wilson Stewart Moonlight School. It was originally located next to the campus training school where I attended grades one through twelve. I did some research and wrote a piece on the Moonlight School for Preservation Magazine, having never written about historic preservation before. My writer’s block was gone! I also realized I could write about more than one topic.

Tell me how it works for you to step away from your writing? So you take a walk or go somewhere different or do some reading. You gradually relax enough to relieve the writer’s block. Sounds possible. What I would hope is that I could get ideas from a walk or traveling or reading or whatever else I would do that is different. That really might work if I could then have enough discipline to get back to writing. I will be going some different places this summer, taking a lot of photos, and getting some new ideas that I can turn into articles or into some sort of work. Really the same principle as your strategy.

It’s been so good to talk to you today for #weekendcoffeeshare. You’ve given me a great idea about getting rid of writer’s block and a lot to think about. Have a good weekend.

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14 thoughts on “#weekendcoffeeshare: 5/21/16

  1. I’m certainly glad I stopped by for coffee – I didn’t know about the Moonlight Schools movement! So I guess in a curious round about way, in fact I’m rather glad you had writer’s block at one point. 🙂 I’ll be interested in hearing about how your summer of gathering photos and thoughts and ideas works out for you. I think it sounds fabulous. Inspiration research!

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  2. Well, this blog brings back memories of two years of being a student in one of those one-room school houses in Clay County, Ky. The 1946-47 school year I was a sixth grader at the location called Antepast (make sense of that name), then in 1947-48, I was a student at the one-room school on Little Bullskin. My Dad was the teacher in both cases and I finished the 8th grade in 1948 and passed the 8th grade exam required of all students to get a diploma. After that year I went to Oneida Baptist Institute for 4 years, then to Berea College, graduating in 1956 with a bachelor’s degree. But I certainly remember those one-room school days.

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  3. I have been away from my writing for so long that I fear I won’t ever get back to it. My problem is that I tend to take care of those who need me first. Then any time left is mine. However, it seems that everyone always needs me, thus no me time! Oh well, at least I feel needed!

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    • Hi Corina,
      I don’t know whether you have heard about a time management illustration where they have a glass jar and the first time they fill it with sand and pebbles representing the little things and then try to fit the big rocks in last and they can’t fit. Then they put the big rocks in first and then add the pebbles and the sand and it all fits in. I think it’s from 7 Habits of Successful people. I have much too learn in this department. I do strive for balance but for me this means alternating slabs of time for writing and more left brained activities. I can’t multitask between the two. It’s also hard to divide time between relationships and writing. If you don’t want to be an island, there is that give and take.
      Naturally I relate to this.
      xx Rowena

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  4. I find doing a related task, some research or the like usually gets me going again. A deadline also helps as I am goal oriented deadline driven. I like to leave working part way through a chapter where I know what is coming next. That means the flow can start immediately I return to work. Doing a blog post is often a good way for me to start the day. Good luck with getting your flow flowing again and thanks for coffee.

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  5. Thanks very much for the coffee, Rosemary. I don’t have a problem with writer’s block and tend to experience writer’s overload and have to be careful not to overstimulate my creativity so I can still function and look after my kids.
    xx Rowena

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  6. I just read a news article where this 66 year old woman had a bucket list and so she wanted to walk the Appalachian trail. She got lost and wrote her journal. She starved to death and died. Isn’t that sad. The person she was hiking with had to leave her and she stayed because the trail was on her bucket list. She should have left with the person she was hiking with. 66 is a little old to do that alone.

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