Writing

Getting Into The Zone

I love getting into the zone and losing track of time. It was easier when I had less on my plate. Unfortunately, like everyone else the older I get, the more obligations I have.

Being so immersed in another world that the real one falls away is an incredible feeling. I tend to come out of those sessions feeling energized, even if I just spent the past two hours writing.

Of course, getting into the zone is tougher than simply sitting down in a chair. It requires you to start, which is often the hardest part.

Losing track of time because you’re so caught up in your w.ork can happen when you least expect it to. Sometimes a little pressure courtesy of a deadline helps as well.

Personally, I make a schedule and set aside some time for creative work every day. I don’t always get into the zone. When I do, I don’t always expect to stay in the zone for too long. Then again, when things are going well, I don’t want to stop. I want to keep going until I can’t.

Personal Reflection

When You Have No Idea What You’re Doing

Sometimes I have no idea what I’m doing. I know I’m not alone in that regard. But I feel like everybody else knows what they’re doing, and I’m the only one who doesn’t have my life together.

I realize I don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. I shouldn’t rush myself just because someone is doing something I haven’t done yet.

I try my best not to force anything. Then again, I feel like an imposter when I’m being true to myself. Partly because in my eyes the real me isn’t good enough, which is so problematic.

I dislike pressure from other people. I don’t handle it well at all. I’ll be living my life, taking one step at a time and then it feels like someone shoves me from behind. Instead of going faster, I’ll slip or trip. I’ll fall flat on my face.

Rather than rising to the occasion, I crack under pressure. The facade fades away before my failures become exposed for all to see.

I don’t always know what I’m doing. Even when I do, I’m not very confident. Self-doubt and second-guessing will be the death of me.

I lack confidence in many areas of life. That said, I truly believe anyone can get better at anything with practice. Humans have the ability to grow and improve. That’s a beautiful thing We shouldn’t take for granted.

What’s more, everyone has unique strengths and weaknesses. It’s okay to be bad at certain things. It’s not the end of the world.

Besides, you can learn. You can turn what used to be a weakness into a strength. Or at the very least, you can strengthen your weaknesses.

I often try to remind myself that so long as I do my best, I have nothing to be ashamed of.

Writing

How To Write Under Time Pressure

Writing is hard enough as it is without the added pressure of having a limited amount of time.

Budgeting time takes on a greater significance when you only have a few hours to write too many essays.

I’ve extracted tips from my tired brain about writing under pressure:

  • Write fast but not too fast. This goes for both handwriting and typing.
  • Production not perfection. Don’t strive to be perfect. Do strive to be done.
  • Be concise, clear. Try to know what you’re writing about to avoid beating around the bush.
  • Prepare accordingly. There’s nothing like a simulation of the real thing. Studying and reviewing is good. Replicating the test conditions as closely as possible is great.
  • Don’t forget to breathe. Like the protagonist in many YA novels, let out that breath you didn’t know you were holding.
  • Try not to overthink. Most teachers aren’t trying to trick you.
  • Just write something. Part marks are better than no marks at all. Get an idea down. It may lead to other ideas.
  • Make connections. Concepts often interconnect. Draw out similarities and differences. Compare or contrast. Brainstorm with a mind map. Outline in a way that work for you.
  • Write until you have nothing else to say. Stick with what you know when possible. Talking about what you don’t know makes your life harder.
  • Use the time given. There’s no reason to stop writing thirty minutes into a three hour exam.
  • Take care of any business beforehand. That way, you’re in a good place physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.
  • Eat and drink beforehand. A hydrated body beats a hungry one.
  • Move on. Especially when you’re stumped. Tackle the next question. You can always come back to a problem later.
  • Play to your strengths. Downplay your weaknesses.
  • Answer what’s asked. Ideally, you do this right off the bat.

If nothing else, remember writing under time pressure is a skill you can cultivate.

Blogging

Why Blogging Is Hard

Blogging is hard.

And in some ways it’s gotten harder and harder over the years for me. 

One might think that after three years of publishing posts, everything gets easier.

Well I’m here to tell you that isn’t true.

I feel like the more I blog, the more pressure I put on myself. To be better. To write better content. To be a better communicator overall.

Rightfully so, except pressure isn’t my cup of tea. 

To be honest, I don’t perform well under pressure. I prefer a more relaxed environment where I’m not working against anything or anyone (especially myself), but rather working towards a goal.

Sometimes I forget to have fun and just enjoy myself while blogging. I get all uptight and tense. Which is why I’m not a pleasant person to be around all the time.