Comps Strategies: Write fragments, take naps

nap-time with the pup

nap-time with the pup

As careful readers of this blog may have already surmised, I rely heavily on structure for writing. I organize my note-taking with a rubric, each entry carefully tagged and labelled in Evernote, I brainstorm with the mindmapping software VUE, and painstakingly outline in Opal. When it comes time to write, I like to have both the forest and the trees held firmly and mind and move forward. Towards this end, I spent the first day of comps carefully outlining all my essays.

But for whatever reason, this time the blank page defeated me. I felt stuck, despite my careful outlines. What saved me was a strategy that many people use already, but my friend had to remind me of: “don’t be afraid to write fragments that you can work at connecting later.” You know what you want to say about some pieces, he reminded me, even if you’re struggling to hold the whole thing in your mind. It worked.

It is also true that when I feel stuck, I often try to “keep pushing” and get nowhere. Advice from a highly practical friend* provided the solution: take naps. Not only do they keep me from wearing myself out doing nothing, they are also obviously the best thing ever on their own merits.

Any other advice for surmounting moments of stuck is welcome!


* She wears “eating pants” to big dinners. ‘Nuff said.

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2 thoughts on “Comps Strategies: Write fragments, take naps

  1. Well I guess you know I would probably give an alternative suggestion. I find naps can be draining and feed into lethargy when one is resisting. Often doesn’t move the energy to a new place. I encourage you to meditate for 10 minutes in a.m. and 10 minutes in p.m. before your quite wonderful altar and then when you hit a thud in your day get those tennis shoes on and go run with your pup for 20 minutes. That’s all. Not 30, not 45, just 20 minutes. If you are too sluggish to run, then put on crazy wild dance music for 20 minutes and get Guille to dance with you. Set the timer. ONLY 20 minutes is allowed! Sending you pit bull determination and butterfly imagination with a smattering of peacock screeching brilliance. You only need a smattering of the brilliance. Mostly determination. To finish competently, not perfectly, is quite enough. You are enough. You are always enough!

  2. Pingback: Comprehensive: having an extensive mental range or grasp | Sam Grace

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