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The Art of Beating The ‘Block’

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Lurking in the depths of everyone’s mind lays a dormant creature. It only awakens at the most pinnacle of moments, its long, sleek claws swiftly snatching away anything valuable from its host. The creature’s body is a shadowy sight, allowing it to blend into the dark recesses of the human brain. Scentless and silent, this killer wanders inside each and everyone’s head, slithering between formless ideas and pouncing on anything that begins to take shape. What is this dangerous and evil beast? It is the source of your block, whether it be writer’s block, the inability to do your work or the source of your procrastination.

That was an exceptionally dramatized way of visualizing the series of mental causations that puts us into a slump, but frankly, I have no difficulty imagining it to be that vile. Sometimes, I can almost hear its laughter when it takes away the highs of my successes and puts me right back to square one. If concepts had faces, then this one is a scaly, rotten-toothed, slimy, monster-eyed creature that is responsible for days when I feel like I have to climb to the very peak of Mount Everest just to get out of bed. 

I can guarantee that your own nasty, idea-snatching monster has caused you distress at least once or twice. You may have fallen into a cycle of procrastination, lost the ability to finish a paper with that ever-pressing due date or even just didn’t go to school because the thought of getting ready completely overwhelmed you. The idea-snatcher, with its hideous, grabby little hands, stole your precious motivation, the sole building block for your ideas. 

We all know this problem too well, but when the motivation is gone and the will to work fades into oblivion, leaving you trapped in endless procrastination, what do you do? At this point, I’m sure you have concluded that it may just be easier to give up than try to fight it. It sounds so simple to allow the monster to win, but we must remember that this is not an option. If Mark Zuckerberg gave up when his own idea-snatcher bothered him, would your mom still be posting half-naked baby pictures of you for the world to see? I rest my case. 

To purge yourself of the creature we all know and (don’t really) love, begin by forgetting you lost something in the first place. Whether it’s a beautiful bundle of ideas or even just the motivation to live, make sure you don’t mourn it. The idea-snatcher does not deserve a single precious tear, so don’t waste time thinking about all that was lost. Simply get off the couch, turn off the Netflix and start fresh.

Most importantly, don’t try to replace what you lost. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good and there is no use trying to revive it. What you should do is create something even more spectacular because you are capable of being better. Why would the idea-snatcher even be there in the first place if it didn’t sniff out potentially delicious brain children? Only once you have cut your losses can you move on with your life.

Congratulations! You have defeated the monster! Or have you? What happens if this sudden burst of creative energy suddenly evaporates in the heat of the idea-snatcher’s hellfire? Even though it seems your motivation has disappeared even faster than before, it is important that you don’t lose hope now! At the end of the day, we all fall victim to the creature lurking in the shadows sometimes. But if you want to be the best, you must tame this great beast. Continue to feed it your thoughts until it becomes so stuffed that it cannot move. Only then will you know you have found a truly great, worthwhile and valuable idea.

Above all, you must remember that everyone has an idea-snatcher that has taken something precious. Only the greatest among us have found a way to reach their end destination through another, less-travelled path. I will admit that the idea-snatcher is certainly a ravenous beast, however, if I could write this entire piece while battling a double-high writer’s block, you too can outwit the beast and beat the block.

Abigail Oshell

Wilfrid Laurier '25

Author in the making, film enthusiast & English major📚🎥🪴🐸
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