How To Beat Writer’s Block

Welcome back everyone!

Have you been sitting down to write with all your newfound free time at home, only to stare at your paper or laptop blankly? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Writer’s block is a threat to writers everywhere, but today I’ll share a few of my favorite ways to shake it.

Method One: Use writing prompts and/or exercises.

This is a pretty standard way to try and help, but I feel like this only works when you’re having mild/moderate writer’s block and are still able to write something. You can look some up on writing-related Instagram accounts, Pinterest, or even just Google images. If you’re trying to finish a specific story or piece but can’t get the words out, it helps get your creative juices flowing if you write about something completely different.

Method Two: Go do something completely unrelated to writing. When you’re done, try to write something about it.

This could be anything depending on how much time to spare and how desperate you are to cure your writer’s block. It could be going for a drive, baking a cake, watching a sad movie, or getting your household chores done. Sometimes, a break is all you need to get some inspiration again. However, if you’re still not ready to return to what you were writing before, try writing about whatever experience you just had. Again, it’s all about getting the creative juices flowing.

Method Three: Try implementing a plot twist.

Depending on what you’re trying to write, you may or may not be willing to do this. If you are, just try taking your piece in a completely different direction and taking it from there. This goes along with using different parts of your brain/getting your footing back, but it’s a more direct approach to your piece. Also, you may end up loving what you write! If not, you can always edit, rework, or completely rewrite.

Method Four: Read something new.

I get a lot of my inspiration for writing from reading different works anyway, so it always helps to take a reading break and observe ways different authors carry their storylines. It’s also just a nice brain break in general, because who doesn’t love to read? You could also read a different genre than you normally do- it might give you a new perspective.

I hope these tips help you beat any case of writer’s block you may encounter! I had a pretty bad period of not being able to write anything I was proud of a couple weeks ago, but these tips helped me a lot. I’m actually working on a bunch of writing right now, so keep an eye out for new content related to my writing if you’re interested 🙂

Brooke

How to Get a 5 on AP Human Geography

Welcome back everyone!

I literally have had this post idea in my drafts since the beginning of August/the end of summer, and crazy enough, it’s finally about time to break it out! My AP Euro teacher has a countdown of days until our AP test, and when the countdown got to under 70 days last week, I figured it was a good time to get back to this post. Last year I took the AP Human Geography test and was lucky enough to get a 5 on it, so even though I’m not a total expert, I feel qualified enough to give you some tips.

  • Get a review book! I got The Princeton Review one because I liked that it had practice tests and I feel like that’s all you really need. If you don’t want to spend the money, ask your teacher if they have any you can borrow or ask people who have taken the test in the past if they have old ones they don’t want anymore. I also heard the Barrons review book is good for APHUG, but I didn’t personally use it.
  • Know the models. I feel like this is a crucial component of the class, and the models often come up on the FRQ questions. Funnily enough, the models didn’t come up too much on the version of the test I took last year, but any teacher will tell you it’s still essential to know them.
  • Don’t get intimidated by trick questions. At my school, APHUG was the only AP class freshmen could take so it’s most people’s first AP test, and everyone kind of freaks out. If it’s your first AP test too, don’t get thrown off by the trick questions that they try and give you. It might seem like something you don’t understand how to answer or something that’s impossible, but it’s all about applying the concepts you do know to these tricky questions.
  • Take practice tests! I feel like this helps for any AP class or standardized test. This is what I believe really prepared me for the test most, as practice tests help me a lot in general. If you get the Princeton Review book there should be two in there, and you can find more online from various sources as well as practice FRQs on the College Board website from all previous years of the test.
  • Watch YouTube videos for review. Not only can you find helpful videos of review concepts, you can also find other videos giving tips for the test. I remember Study for Success’s video on how to get a 5 on APHUG was really helpful and she had links to a website that had a lot of resources specifically for APHUG, so go check that out if you’re interested.
  • Don’t cram the night before. At that point, you’re not going to retain the information. If there’s a couple things you want to review or you just want to take one more practice test that’s fine, but don’t try to pull an all-nighter for the sake of cramming. I promise if you’ve already studied, you will be fine.
  • Work on your pacing. Again, this mainly applies if it’s your first standardized test/AP test, but it’s important to know your pacing! Be aware of how much time you have for the multiple choice section and the FRQs, and remember that guessing is better than leaving something blank- do not leave anything blank if possible!!
  • Use the identify, explain, example format for the FRQs. My teacher taught us this starting in the beginning of the year. Basically, when you’re answering each part of the question, identify your main answer/reason, then explain it, and give an example/connect it to something in real life or a specific country and situation that you know relates to the topic.

This was off the top of my head so I easily could’ve forgotten some things- I will definitely go back and do another tips post as the test inches closer. Definitely start studying in advance, but don’t worry too much. APHUG is famous for being one of the easier AP tests since it’s relatively common knowledge/understandable topics being tested and a lot of underclassmen take it. I definitely didn’t expect to get a 5 even though I was really hoping for one, and I believe that you can all get a 5 as well. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Brooke

How to Pick Up New Skills & Why It’s Hard

Welcome back everyone!

I’ve tried a lot of new things this school year, and I’m glad I have. That being said, every time I would go to try something new, a little voice in my head would hope this would be my “thing”, the thing I was good at from the get-go, the thing that came naturally to me. I know it’s important to start new activities with an open mind because it takes practice and hard work to perfect a skill, but I couldn’t help wishing I had some sort of specific talent or activity I was known for being good at.

If you’re trying to pick up some new skills of your own, you’re in the right place. It’s definitely challenging to dive into something new, but I’m here to help you guys out. I’ve definitely been there, and I still am constantly trying to master new skills, so we’re all in this together!

  • Be open-minded – I know, it’s basic, but it’s so important. Keeping an open mind is crucial because you’re never sure if you’re actually going to like something or be good at it until you try and put in an honest effort! Even if something seems difficult, give it a full shot before you write it off as not being for you.
  • Put the work in – As I mentioned before, you don’t have to be a superstar at the first practice/meeting/whatever it is that you’re doing. Make sure you’re giving your best efforts and don’t complain or get discouraged based on your beginning skill level. Be willing to try it out a few times/for a while if possible.
  • Think about what you like the best – What do you genuinely enjoy doing? Find activities or pastimes that would serve those interests- you’ll probably end up being better at these things anyways.
  • Make time for it – If your activity is kind of an afterthought and you’re always rushing through it, you can’t expect to be fully proud of the results. Don’t commit to something unless you know you have the time for it, and make sure you can fit it into your schedule.
  • Enjoy it!! – Have a positive attitude towards whatever new thing you’re doing. It will most likely make it at least twice as fun and you’ll have an easier time picking up the skill and mastering it. Don’t see everything you do as something to conquer- enjoy the experience while you’re there, and be grateful for the learning opportunities you have.

I hope this helps you guys out if you’re intimidated by getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things. I was always like that in middle school and even freshman year, but this year I pushed myself out of my little bubble and tried so many new things, and it’s been the best thing for me. Every experience you have contributes to your overall learning experience, so don’t worry about being an expert at everything you do! That being said, picking up new skills is wonderful and useful, so I wish you all the best in doing so 🙂

Brooke

Starting New Projects and Expectations

Hello everyone!

This is going to be a little positive affirmation and advice to any teens out there who have an idea for a project they want to execute but are scared to start. I was in your shoes before I started this blog, and I’m still in your shoes because I have tons of other ideas I would love to make a reality but am slightly scared of them failing. I know it’s hard, and that’s why I’m here to tell you it’s possible, and not nearly as scary as we think at first.

I now feel silly that I was so scared to start up my blog, because it was actually so simple! It’s pretty small so it’s not that big of a deal to maintain, but I was still so scared just because everyone makes you think that starting something on your own is scary. Yes, some things are scarier than others- starting a business or anything that’s more high-risk would definitely be a lot more work than me deciding to start this blog, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.

It’s so important to have people that support you and help you get through the first couple steps. Once you do that, it’s really not that hard to keep going! You’ll learn so much from the process of being a self-starter, and hopefully you’ll have some tangible results that you can look at and be proud of.

Another misconception I see a lot is people thinking that starting your own club, business, nonprofit, social media presence, etc. is either a total success or total failure. They might be scared it’s going to fail at first, but if it works out, they have super high expectations of it growing to be huge and famous. These high expectations can completely come true with the right mindset, work ethic, and timing, but things aren’t so black and white. There’s definitely an in between- you can have a YouTube channel with a few thousand subscribers that’s successful but not huge, and you can have a business that’s profiting but is only local. It shouldn’t make you unhappy with your progress if you’re trucking along but not an overnight viral success.

It can be really hard to get yourself out of that slump of feeling like your accomplishments aren’t big enough, and you’re not succeeding at the level you would like to, but don’t let yourself get discouraged. Remaining positive and working to grow your idea in the future will lead you to reach those goals eventually. Don’t lose hope or faith in yourself 🙂

I believe that each and every one of you has the potential to launch a project that can help people in your community in some way. If you find yourself wanting to make a difference, don’t be afraid to start!

Brooke