By John Mills
Diversions Editor 

I feel it necessary to start this off by saying I was quickly proven wrong since writing last week’s column. The stock market has stabilized and was truly going through a correction. So no need to panic right this second, about the stock market anyway. There’s still plenty to panic about, but that’s not the business I want to discuss. 

There’s a lot written about how to cure writer’s block. There’s a similar number of people complaining that the technique didn’t work. That being said, I have seen a single, foolproof way to beat writer’s block: just start writing. Write something, anything. It can be absolute garbage, in fact, it probably will be. Most first drafts of anything are utter trash dropped in a landfill of other trash. That’s what editing is for. But you can’t edit something that doesn’t exist. 

With all of that now on the table: this column is being written in the eleventh hour because I couldn’t think of what to write. I don’t want to write a solely political column, though I could. I also don’t just want to write a fluff column, though I could do that as well. I’m flat out terrible at giving advice, so that’s out. There’s many things worth writing about regularly enough to dedicate the column to, but nothing that people actually want to read. Politics or current events are likely to be fractious and divisive, because I have an opinion and I’m not afraid to use it. So instead, I’m going to endeavor to write about something neutral. 

Like writing. I like to write, and try to do so to get away from whatever may be buzzing at the edges of my schedule. I mostly write fiction, most of it sci-fi, and most of it probably not so great. I also have a stack of books literally a foot high on my desk waiting to be read. Unfortunately there are only so many hours in a day, and both writing for pleasure and reading for pleasure take a back seat to applying for jobs and doing homework. But if you have a hobby, it can be anything really, take the time, somehow, to enjoy it. Whatever it may be, it’s worth the mental release that doing something other than work gives you to step away and go play a game, read a book, write some on that story you swear you’ll put some serious work into soon. 

Ruts happen. Hell, much of the last week has seen me in a hell of a funk I couldn’t seem to break myself out of. What did I do that broke the funk? Went and played a board game for a couple of hours between classes. By having to totally focus on something that wasn’t work for a while, I was able to get my mind back on track to handle all the various bits of work that needed doing. So try it. Step away from the homework, the calculator, the engineering pad, just for a little while, and go do something you enjoy. It might just be the shake up you needed.  

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