What are some tips to get over writer's block, especially during an exam where one cannot afford to waste his/her time?
I used to laugh at the concept of writer's block as a kid. I was big into journaling and never thought in a million years I'd wake up without something to say.During high school, I had a gaming blog where I shared World of Warcraft 3v3 strategies and self-deprecating monologues from my diarrhea-plagued adolescence and wildly entertaining life as a social outcast. My blog had ~10,000 daily readers and was the most popular Mage strategy blog on the Internet. I wrote every single day.Right before I left for college, as I was in talks with the owner of the website (RIP GameRiot) for a paid salaried position to continue bringing in traffic, and my parents found my blog (still no idea how) and spent several hours calling it garbage, rebellious, a waste of talent. My writing style at the time was very aggressive and very crude and my perspectives on the world were overly critical of others and intended to be read as obscene and entertaining. What can I say, I was an angry kid. Still, their criticism of the thing I poured hours into every day and from which had developed an audience, crushed me. They insisted that I stop immediately, and if I continued (or tried again under a different pseudonym), they would withhold any and all financial help in regards to college.Needless to say, I stopped writing, quit playing World of Warcraft, and found myself on a rehab trip canoeing 320 miles through Florida to the Gulf of Mexico a year later.When I returned, I knew I wanted something different for myself, but I was still very apprehensive to start writing again. I felt like it had been so long since I'd picked up the pen, and I had no idea where to start.Enter scene: Rap.I'd always loved music, had been playing classical piano since I was five, taught myself how to beatbox (fairly well, I might add) in high school, and the rap songs that I loved the most often combined the two—heavy hitting drums with ambient, dark piano melodies.In love with the music, I started paying attention to and eventually studying the rhyme schemes layered on top. I listened to rap for hours, staring off into space while trying to follow the words and where the emphasis was placed. In my typical fashion, I started to rewrite the lyrics so I could better see where and how rhymes were being put together. And then I started to try myself. And as if kidnapped by the artform itself, I abandoned everything and decided I wanted to become a rapper.I wrote raps in the school library. I wrote raps in class. I wrote raps in my dorm room and on my phone while walking to the cafeteria and in a notepad I carried around with me everywhere I went. I wrote about my family, my town, all these things I had never really shared before suddenly appearing on the page in front of me. I decided I was going to make an album.Words had never come so fast to me. I was writing nonstop.Positive the flow of inspiration would never end, I preemptively titled the project, "Writer's Block." I would never run out of things to say, I thought.For 6 months, I worked on it relentlessly. I abandoned any social life I'd once had. I said goodbye to my old friends who still wanted to smoke and drink. I broke up with my girlfriend, positive that I'd transfer schools the next semester (and I did) to move to Chicago and pursue my dream. I put everything I had into it, ruthless about getting my first musical project right.When summer hit, I worked as few hours as possible mowing lawns, and spent the rest of my time in my bedroom closet back home. I made myself my own recording booth, with a bed sheet surrounding a studio mic I bought. I had my laptop balanced on a stack of clothes to my right, and when I closed the door to achieve perfect silence, the closet in the summer became a bikram yoga studio. In the morning, I bobbed my head to a new instrumental and wrote a new song for anywhere from 2-4 hours, took a break for lunch, and in the afternoon recorded what I'd written. The recording always took longer. Often times, I would start at 1pm and not finish until 5 or 6. I wanted every line to be as perfect as possible, and if I couldn't get a string of them perfect, then I'd record each line individually and piece them together later on.That was my daily routine for 3 months straight.When the summer was over, and I was getting ready to transfer colleges and move downtown Chicago, I decided I could record forever so I would call the project finished on the day I moved. I packed up my things, drove downtown Chicago, set up my studio in my bedroom and never felt the same about rap again. The project was done. I didn't want to rap anymore—at least, I couldn't get myself to do it. I tried over and over again, but nothing felt right. The project was done, and suddenly I felt the urge to return to long form writing. I wanted to return back to my childhood dream of writing a book. I thought about starting another blog. Rap, as it would turn out, was nothing more than an elusive and mysterious path that had allowed me space for self-therapy, an outlet to work through a lot of my issues and frustrations with the world and my family so that I could write from a better and more honest place.My Writer's Block, as I later discovered through a plethora of reflection, was not so much a single moment of declaration from my parents to stop writing, but rather an all-encompassing emotional state that I needed to face and work through in order to set free a better and less angry author.TL,DR: Try Rap/a different form of writing and see where it takes you.