This week in my newspaper class, we’ve been refocusing a bit. Recently awarded the status of “All-American” by the National Scholastic Press Association, we celebrated Monday by reading through the judge’s comments and suggestions. We discussed how to make the paper better. Then Tuesday, we tackled our website. Wednesday and Thursday, we dug into a journalism writing book and talked about our writing and our story ideas and how we can improve them.
It’s been a delightful week with my staff, a week that I’ve been able to remember why, 17 years ago, I took a hard left with my career path and said, “I want to be a newspaper adviser.”
It’s also been a hard week, as I’m adapting to a new schedule, one I’ve never had before–I am teaching 4 different classes back to back and it is messing with my brain. I’m exhausted. By Wednesday I realized I needed to recalibrate my ambitious schedule for the week and allow myself some downtime (nap, clear out the TiVo, watch basketball) lest I suffer a meltdown at an inopportune time. Knowing a meltdown was imminent, I also knew writing would help.
I’ve opened a post here on my blog every day this week, and haven’t written a thing. Just stared at a blank space, checked Twitter, stared at a blank space, checked Facebook, stared at a blank space, checked Instagram…you get the idea.
During our discussion about writing, my newspaper staff wanted to know how I get over writer’s block.
“Write about the writer’s block,” I told them. “Just write nonsense until it starts making sense.”
Funny how I’m able to give advice so freely that I don’t take for myself.