Writer’s Block

Somewhere, deep under my e-mail file folders and room reservation requests, a writer is hiding.  A novelist, note-taker, list-maker, journalist, editor… all of these titles describe my true passion.  I’m a writer.  Of course, I’m also a student affairs professional.  I’m always searching for ways to incorporate my passion for writing into my daily work.  Here are some suggestions for bringing out the writer in you when you’re bogged down by work in the office.

Case Study Scenarios

What better way to break free with your imagination than by dreaming up some crafty case study scenarios?  Whether it’s role-playing, event planning, or crisis management, case studies are always a great way to get students engaged.  I created an activity for my Student Volunteer Council (SVC) called “An SVCer Can Dream…” and gave them scenarios in which they would have to plan their dream community service event.  This helped get my students’ creative juices flowing as well.

Listmaking

While listmaking isn’t the most artistic outlet for writing skills, I personally still find it to be cathartic and fun.  Think about all the long-term projects you’ve been meaning to tackle and jot them down.  Don’t forget about those quick e-mails you’ve been meaning to send.  If you’re craving the opportunity to use pens, pencils, markers, or highlighters, this is a great way to color code and organize your thoughts while still being creative.

Training Manuals

While daunting, training manuals may actually be the best outlet for writing and editing skills.  I recently put together a 28-page Student Volunteer Handbook, and I truly enjoyed having the ability to cut out extra verbiage, insert a “how-to” guide for reflection, and put my grammar guns to good use. 

Regardless of your outlet, think of ways to get your creative juices flowing at work and take time to cultivate them.  I’m going back to my rainbow Sharpie drawing board for the next blog post idea.

Krista Kohlmann
Central Regional Coordinator
Rutgers University

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