Life Without Writer’s Block

writers-blockI haven’t struggled much with writer’s block. Maybe in school I did. When I was forced to write against my will. But writing professionally and personally has always been a joy for me and a very fluid process.

I’ve been writing since the seventh grade (1987) when I took a Creative Writing class in secondary school. The first long piece of fiction I ever wrote was a spoof of Batman (a comic character I was a huge fan of at the time). My class published these stories in small, individual blank books that I got to design the cover of and paste type-written pages in. There was something about having a “published” book that filled me with great satisfaction and a desire for more.

In junior high, I spent one entire year writing a poem everyday. They were mostly all the same rhyming scheme — ABCB — and were usually about the latest classmate I had a crush on. I thought one day I would write songs in a band.

In high school, I started writing about my actual life, jotting down details about events I didn’t want to forget. I also joined the student newspaper staff and became a journalist.

My focus shifted to photography and video production in college, but I never stopped taking notes about story ideas I would one day flesh out and complete. I still have those notes — a huge well of story ideas from which to draw in the future. I also wrote occasional features and reviews for the newspaper, so writing never left me.

When I got into the workforce, I found that I needed a tool to improve and increase the speed of my writing. Online journals — precursors to blogs — were hot around 2000, so I created a LiveJournal that I updated almost everyday.

After the “dot bomb” in 2001, I found myself unemployed for almost a year and entertained myself with writing. I eventually launched a blog — sometimes multiple blogs on various topics that interested me — and this prepared me for future employment as an online content manager and blogger for several well-known companies.

I had a job where I blogged about computers and electronics for an online shopping website. Another job — probably my favorite — had me writing about dating and relationships (the research was quite enjoyable). In fact, blogging has been a part of every job I’ve had since 2007. Right now, I blog about military technology for a defense contractor in the Washington, DC area — among my other duties. Writing about bomb disposal robots in Afghanistan isn’t as interesting as writing about online dating, but it’s pretty close.

So, I write everyday in some capacity. I’m lucky that writing is part of my 9-to-5 job. I’m forced to write three blog posts a week — writer’s block or not. If I need ideas or inspiration for writing these, I check out industry media outlets or blogs to find out what’s hot in the military community right now. Then I figure out how one of our products relates.

Even if I didn’t write professionally, I would still need a writing outlet, whether it’s a personal blog or a novel. I’ve already done poetry, journalism, and blogging. Screenwriting, it seems, is the next step for me.