Overcoming Writer’s Block (Oppa Whiteboard Style!)

If you didn’t get the song reference in the title, shame on you. Go watch this video right now.

Back? Good. Let’s move on to today’s topic …

Overcoming Writer’s Block (Oppa Whiteboard Style!)

This is a very simple technique for overcoming writer’s block. Simply follow these 10 easy steps, and you too can push past that pesky block and write the next NY Times best-seller!

  1. Buy whiteboard markers and an eraser. Don’t use old, gooky ones that you found shoved in the back of your closet. They’ll konk out halfway and then you’ll feel silly, won’t you?
  2. Sneak into your local college/university. If you don’t have a local college/university, a high school will do in a pinch.
  3. Locate a classroom with a big whiteboard. You want to find a whiteboard at least fifteen feet across, giving you lots of writing space. Smaller is okay, but you’ll have to write smaller as a result — I don’t know if you’ve tried writing small on a whiteboard, but it’s rather difficult.
  4. Check for security cameras. Unless you have permission to be in there, in which case shame on you. The instructions specifically state for you toΒ sneakΒ into a school, not stroll in like you own the place. Go back to Step 1 and try again.
  5. De-lid those whiteboard markers and start writing. Use lots of arrows and circles — basically, you want to use as much ink as humanly possible and completely fill that fifteen foot whiteboard with writing.
  6. Step back and admire your creation. Hopefully this process provided you with at least a few insights about your story. If not, at least it was fun!
  7. Snap some pics with your smartphone so you can actually remember what you wrote. If you didn’t bring your smartphone … sigh. Back to Step 1 with you!
  8. Erase the evidence. The last thing you want is some bleary-eyed Engineering student to wander in at 8 a.m., realize they’re looking at the plot for the next NY Times best-seller, and steal it for themselves. Trust no one!
  9. Book it, baby. You probably tripped an alarm on the way in, so you might want to vacate the scene before you get arrested.
  10. Collapse on your sofa and celebrate your successful brainstorming session with a beverage of your choice. I recommend ginger tea, especially if your stomach is feeling a bit upset from all this law-breaking and general tomfoolery.

Disclaimer: If you get arrested, don’t come crying to me. You should have known better than to listen to the internet. Trust no one!


Semi-related video of the day:

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

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29 thoughts on “Overcoming Writer’s Block (Oppa Whiteboard Style!)

  1. LOL!! Great post!

  2. Oh, God. Now I want to hop around my living room pretending I’m riding an invisible horse… probably just as well I’m home alone right now. Really enjoyed your post, though! Excellent suggestion. πŸ™‚

  3. Ha! I actually live quite near to the local university & I am honestly tempted to try this. o.O Do I dare??? And I love the video. Too funny.

    • You do dare! You do!

      If you don’t feel like breaking and entering, you could always just go during the day/evening. There are always empty classrooms scattered about πŸ™‚

  4. Pingback: This, That, and the Other « Jo of all trades

  5. Can’t miss with this. πŸ˜‰

  6. Papizilla

    Reblogged this on The Ranting Papizilla.

  7. Note: Having just replaced most of the whiteboards at the university where I work with smartboards, I would advise that you check to make sure that it is actually a whiteboard, and not some bizarre gizmo that has to be turned on before you write on it. On the plus side, if it is a smartboard, you can just download your masterpiece instead of taking a picture of it. Just remember to wipe the memory.

    Also, sneaking around a university in the middle of the night is not advised, because you’ll end up getting chased by security and have to hide in a broom closet, and then you’ll be discovered by housekeeping, and hi-jinks may ensue.

    • Unless the broom closet is actually a magical portal to a parallel universe where there are no mosquitos. Then it might be a good idea to break into the university after all … πŸ˜€

      • No… I’m thinking that going through a magical portal in a university broom closet in the middle of the night is not going to end well. I mean, there may be no mosquitoes, but that’s probably because the shoggoths ate them all.

        • Sadly I did not know the term “shoggoth” and had to Google it. The results were alarming. “Lovecraft writes them as massive amoeba-like creatures looking like they are made out of tar, with multiple eyes “floating” on the surface.” Sounds like what happened the last time I left a bowl of food sitting on my desk for too long …

    • haha… that’s what I was thinking.. don’t write all over someone’s smartboard!

  8. Hilarious!

  9. I especially loved the disclaimer at the end. πŸ˜‰

  10. Heeheehee.

  11. I have a friend who I get together with to write regularly and I think I’m going to suggest we do this instead of the usual coffee-shop date…

    Also that’s the best Gangnam Style parody I’ve seen to date. πŸ˜€

    • It’s pretty fantastic, right? I think my favourite part is that the Johnson Space Centre actually greenlit a project like that. I get the feeling most companies wouldn’t. Go NASA!

      And you should absolutely do the whiteboard thing! You might want to skip the breaking and entering step, though. Unless your current WIP is set in a prison, in which case you might want to break and enter after all …

  12. Hey, 1 Billion is bad enough. We don’t need people like you encouraging this sort of thing any more! πŸ˜‰
    Hey, I was the bleary eyed engineering student some time back in the dark distant past. Don’t knock engineering students! They’re probably the ones who would use fingerprint dust to reveal the text you wrote up and erased earlier, photograph it and get it published and make millions before you got home. πŸ˜‰
    This reminds me of a typical engineer’s job interview question I’ve been asked. “What are your preferred design tools? Which are the most efficient, etc.?”
    He’s thinking of any of the massively expensive and typically very limited software packages available. My answer for best design tool: Whiteboard and markers.

    Okay, I’ll go away now.

    • Haha no! Don’t go!

      I knock engineers because about half my friends are engineers, and they regularly make cracks at art students (me), so I like to return the favour. I do it with love, of course. Engineers make the world go round. Well, no, the Earth spins because … Googling … hang on … because cosmic dust! (http://www.ccmr.cornell.edu/education/ask/index.html?quid=118) That’s bizarre, I always thought it had something to do with spinning around the sun. Anyway, yay science!

      Also, whiteboard and markers was clearly the correct answer. I hope they hired you on the spot.

      • I remember hanging it on art students too! It was great fun. Then made the mistake of bagging some art students we didn’t actually know. To their faces. Awkward…
        I’m also an astronomy nerd. Spinning = rotating – done on its axis and takes one day. Revolving is around something… like the sun. takes about a year or so. No easy way to remember it though. I’m not good with catchy little rhymes to help you remember, sorry. πŸ˜‰ It’s probably still spinning from all the momentum it’s had since day one. (Now reads your link… yeah, it’s about right, I guess, except he misuses the word revolving in the first paragraph but I’m not picky… much.
        Don’t think I got that job. πŸ˜‰

  13. Um…hello? Is this phone working? *crackles*. Can someone please post bail for me? *crackles*
    Pleeez? I won’t do it again…I was misled by an art student on the internet…

    • Aw man, and I specifically posted a Disclaimer to make sure this didn’t happen! What did I say about not trusting the internet???

      Let me find my wallet …

  14. Genius, and liked the inclusion of the NASA parody!

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