Writer’s Block

What do you do when you have a daily goal of writing five hundred words a day, and you don’t have a thing to write about?
Okay, I have plenty to write about. I have two book projects that need desperate attention. I have several other books I could start work on. I have several side projects that I need to finish soon. I have articles to write for blogs and magazines.
I have plenty to do. But, if you are another writer reading this, you know what my problem is.
I have nothing to write about.
I am so stuck in my mindless nothingness.
So, what do you do when you have nothing to say?
Seriously, I’m not even going to kid you with a hashtag #askingforafriend.
I want to know what you all would do, but the only thing I can think of in this instance is to write a list. I know, some of you are SHOCKED at me, PJ Beaven, writing a LIST.
But lists are what I do. I love lists. So, I’m stuck in writer’s block hell, here’s how I handle it.

Things I could be writing right now, but need some divine intervention of sorts:

  1. ZooFit Campaigns
    A. 96 Elephants Campaign- 96 elephants are killed every day. That’s one elephant every fifteen minutes. So, what can we do about that? One thing is raise awareness. Last year, I participated in an awareness campaign about suicide in veterans. It made me think about ways to appreciate our troops more, and support them. Awareness campaigns can be phony or incredible. If all it does is make someone aware but doesn’t change the behavior, then it doesn’t really do any good.
    My idea for 96 elephants is a fifteen day challenge (fifteen days for the.  elephant killed every fifteen minutes) of doing a 96 second plank every day

B. Vaquita CPR campaign- There are less than 30 vaquita porpoises left on earth. That’s a really depressing thought. A huge project was initiated last year to capture some of the remaining vaquita and attempt to breed them, but the project failed when two vaquita failed to thrive in human care for more than 24 hours. Vaquitas need a lot of attention if they have any hope for survival.
My idea for a challenge is 30 days doing 30 reps of V-ups. 30 days may be a bit long, but it’s a powerful number to remember how few vaquitas there are left.

C. 100,000,000 Sharks Campaign- sharks are among the most feared animal on earth, even though less than 10 people are killed by sharks every year. Compared to the 100,000,000 sharks killed every year by humans, and you begin to wonder who is really the bigger terror of the deep? My challenge for bringing awareness is much easier than trying to reach 100,000,000 reps of something. I am asking you to do 100 flutterkicks ten times throughout the day for ten days. If you add them all up, it’s still only 10,000 repetitions of flutterkicks. It’s a LOT of flutterkicks, but it’s only 1/10,000 of the total sharks killed every year. Now that’s some crazy awareness.

D. Single use plastics push-up challenge- a 3 or 5 day challenge where each day you tally up all the single use plastics you used throughout the day. Do 1 push-up for every piece. Plastic wrap around the meat? There’s one. Plastic straw to put in your cup of water? That’s two. Plastic wrap around a pack of gum? That counts. A fruit or protein bar? There’s another push-up. It may not sound fair, but even if you don’t ask for the plastic, if you use it, like the salad dressing coming in a plastic cup, or creamer for your coffee in a plastic container, or if the server puts a straw in your glass without you asking, these all count.
This challenge brings to the forefront of our minds how much plastic we use every single day. And how much plastic we toss out after one single use every day.
My hope is by the end of this particular challenge, we are consciously trying to find ways to cut down our use of plastics. And share with others some helpful tips for cutting down plastic use. “Bring your own eating utensils and carry them in your car or purse in case the restaurant only has plastic forks.” “I get my meat from the counter instead of the case. Then I can ask for the assistant to not wrap the meat in plastic.” “When I order a drink, I automatically tell the server ‘no straws’ to cut down on the unwanted plastic.”

  1. Presentations
    A. Zookeeper’s Guide to Fitness- Second year I am presenting this class/workshop through South Whidbey Parks and Recs, this class was a big success in my mind last year. I only had four participants, but it was a great group and it was great practice for my whole program. I’ve modified and improved some of the material, and I’m doing it again through the month of February. I need to revamp the presentation some, and the handouts need some attention. But what else is procrastination for?
    B. Toastmasters for Zookeepers- True, I need to make sure the workshop is approved before I dive into creating the workshop presentation, but I’m hopeful and excited to share what I have learned through Toastmasters to the zookeeper community and highlight all the fantastic benefits of Toastmasters. It should make for a great workshop and help me promote my ZooFit program of motivational speaking engagements, at least at AAZK.
  2. Whole30 Challenge Take 2- Okay, I did Whole30, and I adhered to it, but right after my first attempt was my birthday and Thanksgiving, and then the Christmas holiday season and everything I practiced with Whole30 went right out the window. So, when I get home, I’m going to try it one more time. I do have a writer’s retreat right smack dab in the middle of reintroduction period, but no matter when I start Whole30 this time, it’s going to conflict with something big going on- Rainforest Retreat, Las Vegas Writer’s Conference, Summer Vacation, Conferences in Denver and Seattle, etc. I might as well do the challenge at least and get into the groove rather than wait months for “the perfect time”. If a better time comes up, then great, maybe I can try it a third time and really nail the challenge and reap all the benefits.
    I can’t decide if I want to blog about my experience this time around. I do want to play with the challenge just a little and make it a little “greener”. And I do need to take my measurements. One of the best things that came from doing Whole30 last time was I broke my nasty habit of weighing myself nearly every day. That activity only depressed me and demotivated me. But I would love to try to make Whole30 a bit more personified- more about Eating Green and sustainable, while still adhering to the guidelines of Whole30. It would be a great idea to blog and record my experience. If for nothing else then my own Conservation Fitness Guide I am hoping to self-publish by summer.
  3. YouTube Tutorials
    A. ZooFit Principles- I sort of want to start a YouTube channel where I go over principles of ZooFit (operant conditioning, positive reinforcement, best practices, LRS, enrichment) and gain followers, but I’m afraid vlogging is going to be an awful lot of work. But it might be well worth the effort in promoting my book and getting motivation from followers to finish the damn thing.
    B. Reuse, Recycle, Reduce Your Waist- This would be a specific segment of ZooFit where I make exercise equipment out of household items and non-recyclable items such as basketballs/sports balls, rake handles, milk/soup containers, plastic container lids, t-shirts, and even plastic food bags. I’m planning on self-publishing a book of the same title. This would be either a supplement to the book, a promotional video series, or just another way to garner followers.|
    C. Eating Green- I would love to have the room to video me making healthy earth-friendly dishes, but that’s not happening in our current living arrangement. Maybe in our landlord’s home. But again, it’s a lot of work. For a potential great payoff
    D. Conservation Fitness- This segment of ZooFit would touch base on outdoor workouts and Conservation Hero WODs, which I will go over a little further down on this lovely list.
  4. Speaking Engagement Powerpoint and Notes
    1. Fitness Through Operant Conditioning
    2. Eating Green
    3. Experience Nature
    4. Conservation Fitness
    5. Enrichment: Putting the Fun in Functional Fitness
  5. Books
    A. Conservation Fitness Guide- a thirty day fitness challenge guide complete with meal plan, recipes, shopping lists, exercise descriptions, workouts, and workout logs as well as conservation fitness information on Eating Green and Experience Nature.
    -4 weeks of meal plans- 1 week each of four main healthy and sustainable eating programs: Whole30, Locavore, Paleo, and Vegan/Vegetarian
    -Brief summaries of palm oil and processed foods, sustainable seafood, single use plastics and eating out
    -Intro to each diet plan
    -Small section of DIY workout equipment
    -Workouts for 3 days each week (15 workouts)
    B. Reuse, Recycle, Reduce Your Waist
    – Instructions
    – Photos
    – Ideas for workouts
    C. ZooFit Exercise Guide
    – All animal exercises with descriptions
    – Workouts
  1. Conservation Hero WODs
    1. Dian Fossey (Time Ladder)2. Core of Conservation
    3. Steve Irwin (Burpee Countdown)
    4. Feel the Burn
    5. Anna Mertz (Burpee Contingency)
    6. Dawn Branchaeu (Escalator)
    7. Lawrence Anthony (Pyramid)
    8. Minute Man
    9. Running the Zoo (Sloth, Giraffe, Cheetah)


Wow, lists really do help! I’ve got a lot of work to do!


One Response

  1. Wow the list is so full of stuff that I’m lost… I would suggest starting with one of these that you think would be the most fun right now, but not to add on too much and get burnt out.

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