Overcoming Writer’s Block

Simple, yet profound ways to overcome a lack of creative inspiration.

Writer’s block happens to even the best writers among us. When it takes hold, it can feel paralyzing. Whether you have a final paper due at midnight, or you’re simply trying to get your creativity flowing, writer’s block can be overcome. Please enjoy the following tips on overcoming writer’s block from the extensive experience of a master procrastinator.

One of the biggest issues I have when it comes to writing large pieces in a short period is remaining focused. You feel helpless to accomplish what you so desperately need to do. Try…

  • Asking deeper questions to get engaged in the work you are doing.
    • Self-reflect about the root of your lack of focus. Often, I am unable to focus because of the pressure of the end goal. If you are feeling overwhelmed with focusing on a large task, ask deeper questions. Why do you feel so overwhelmed? What steps can you take, right this second, to get one step closer to the finish line? What positive result can you look forward to at the end of the task?
    • Think deeper about the task at hand. Struggling with Calculus or World History? Try taking a broader perspective. Then, break down what parts of the task are causing the issue for you.
  • Eliminate distractions.
    • I will say this once (speaking as much to myself as everyone else) TURN OFF YOUR PHONE. The world will not end in the time it takes for you to do your homework. Don’t even use it as an excuse and say “I’m just changing my playlist on Spotify”. I don’t want to hear it. I have made all of these same excuses a million times. Put your phone in the furthest corner of the room and commit yourself to keep it there until you achieve what you intend to.
  • Attempt to fully immerse yourself in your work.
    • At the end of the day, accomplishing things brings satisfaction. Sit down and don’t get up until the work is done. It sounds simple, but it’s truly difficult. Plus, by setting aside distractions, you reinforce self-discipline. By disciplining yourself, you are showing respect for your own time, and respect for your boundaries. And when it’s all said and done, overcoming work ethic obstacles removes a huge burden of stress from your shoulders.

Writer’s block can set in when you are feeling uninspired. If you are looking for a way to reclaim that source of creativity, try…

  • Spending time outside.
    • Nature has so much inspiration to offer. Take advantage of that. Particularly if that assignment is a creative writing assignment, grounding yourself in nature can give you a lot of ideas to work off of when you return to work.
  • Read.
    • The very best writers read constantly. If you are having trouble with writing, try reading a piece of work from the genre you are working toward. Or simply read something you enjoy.
  • Listen to music.
    • Music is such a powerful force. It can create mental connections between memories, people, places, and ideas. Try listening to music that you associate with a particular period in your life or that you associate with the task you are trying to accomplish through writing. Ideas that you associate with this music can resurface and give you ideas for your piece.
  • Freewrite.
    • Try taking a break from the rubric. Instead, write about whatever is in your head. If particular anxiety is keeping you from making progress on your project, write about it. By expelling this anxiety on paper, it may make it easier to focus on the assignment at hand. Write without expectations and see what you create.
  • Get organized.
    • Your passion for the project you are working on may simply be drained because you feel overwhelming. Take a moment to breathe. Set aside what you have already done on the project and take a moment to truly organize your thoughts. There are many different types of visual representations that you can use to organize the concept you’re tackling. Things like a flowchart or an idea web can be immensely helpful and can serve as a reference point as you progress toward the end goal.

Lastly, if all fails, take a complete mental break before easing back into the project. Get a snack, take a walk, or drink some water. Any activity that can help refresh your body physically also will help sharpen your brain for productivity. Sometimes, in the pursuit of achievement, the best thing you can do is take a moment to recenter mentally, physically, and emotionally.


    Boys Tennis

    They are currently preparing for their first match at Lebanon on March 29th. They are still trying to figure out their lineup but are blessed to have a great top 6 players as of right now. “I’m very excited to be able to put my craft on display in our first match” Cayden Danzer said.

    Boys’ Golf Starts Their Season

    After three days of tryouts, Boy’s Golf finally has their 16 member team for this year. The first 3 days of March were spent narrowing down the team in order to fill in the empty spots. The players’ abilities were tested by playing  three, nine hole rounds at the Oscar Bloom Golf Course. They were then ranked off of how they played.

    ” I hope that as a team and as an individual we can get to state, I think that the team will get along well because we all have the same goal and that is to get to the state tournament!” Senior Hayden Wiggins said. The team will be meeting for practice everyday after school at varying locations and will work hard to reach their goal.

      Chief TV Update

      Chief TV is a program that grades freshman through senior can become apart of. Chief TV is a classroom-based club that involved filming and editing videos that are displayed in the commons on the TVs on the walls. “A lot of projects are filmed in the classroom and some are filmed on our own time out of the classroom,” sophomore Hailee Seymour, a student in Broadcast Journalism II and Chief TV member explained. “It’s a very hands-on class and you get to do different projects that are based on your interests and what you enjoy to do.”

      Seymour enjoys being apart of Chief TV. “It’s really fun,” she said. “You get to meet new people. You always get to do stuff that interests you not just what the teacher assigns. You can make it your own and not do the same as everyone else.”

      Although she still enjoys it, Seymour also described how COVID-19 has affected Chief TV. “It’s very downplayed this year,” she explained. “We can’t do as much as we did in previous years.” However, Chief TV has no plans on slowing down anymore anytime soon. If you are interested in becoming apart of the Chief TV program, you first have to take the prerequisite course Broadcast Journalism I. Once you have completed this class, you may enroll in Broadcast Journalism II which is where the fun really begins!

        Archery Team

        The archery team won all city last week. In the boys’ competition, junior Lucas Young won first place at the meet and senior Caden McCall won third. On the girls’ side, the team swept the competition and placed three girls in the top three. McKenna Black, a senior, won first place while junior Audrey White and freshman Kaylee Thomas won second and third.

        Kickapoo’s archery team became the first high school team in Springfield to qualify for state with a tier-one school. Archery has been practicing every morning and afternoon when they can. “We all work hard to get to where we are and even when we couldn’t go to school practice we would practice on our own at the archery range,” Audrey White says.

          Writing Center Update

          The writing center is a helpful if obscure tool available to Kickapoo students. The main purpose of the writing center is to give students a chance to have an extra set of eyes read their writing whether that be an essay, lab report, or anything in between. Maddux Green, a senior this year, is a member of the writing center and has the title of “writing consultant.” This position is open to any junior or senior who is a good writer, talks to Mrs. BK, and applies via a Google Doc at the end of the year. If accepted, they will be expected to be open to editing papers that Mrs. BK assigns them within twenty-four hours so that the student can make any corrections needed or take any suggestions made by the editor into account before the due date. Writing consultants “leave comments on their Google Doc about what changes [the student] can make to their essay,” Green explained. Green also described the benefits of being a part of the program. “It looks really good on college applications,” she said. She also said that it gives editors the opportunity to improve their writing and editing skills. 

          Green wishes that more people took advantage of the writing center. “I wish more teachers encouraged students to use it because it’s kind of hard to communicate stuff with COVID this year,” she said. Although mainly English teachers encourage students to utilize the writing center, it is open to anyone in any subject at any time. All a student has to do is talk to Mrs. BK about getting a paper edited, send it to her through Google Docs, and a writing consultant will edit it within the next twenty-four hours and get it back to you so that you can read through their comments left on the document. 

          Green explains why she joined the writing center. “I like editing people’s papers so just being able to do it is something I enjoy,” Green said. If you are like Maddux and enjoy writing or editing, join the writing center as soon as you can, and if not don’t sleep on this amazing tool you have to make sure your papers are in great condition before submitting them! 

          Golden Girls Tryouts

          Information regarding upcoming tryouts and deadlines.

          Tryouts for Golden Girls are March 27. Pick up an informational/application packet in the front office or from club sponsor, Amy Barron (room 105).

          Forms are due March 8th to Amy Barron or brought to the parent/participant meeting that will be held Monday March 8th at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Library at Kickapoo.

          Tryouts are March 28th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The results will be posted March 27th on the Golden Girls social media by 9:00 p.m.

          You do not need a current physical to try-out, but if you make the team you will need a physical by April 2021.

          Dancers will be judges on appearance, cooperation determination, skills, how quickly they retain the routine, overall performance and their enthusiasm, interviews, teacher/coach recommendations.

          Please come prepared with a 1-1:30 minute solo.

          The booster club has fundraising activities that help pay if cost is an issue.

          “Tryouts are always exciting we love to see returning people come back and new people wanting to come up and be a part of the team,” club sponsor Amy Barron said.


            Boys Wrestling

            Boys wrestling has been great this season. The team had five athletes qualify for sectionals and out of those five have one athlete qualify for state. Tai Koyama is the only one to qualify for the state wrestling tournament, having placed 3rd at sectionals. He is very excited to get to compete with some of the top athletes in the state. “I’m very excited to compete and very blessed with this special opportunity.” The state wrestling tournament will take place at Independence Missouri next Saturday. Make sure to show your support for this great and gifted young man.

              Boys Cross Country Team Ranked 4th in the State

              After the cross country meet at Ha Ha Tonka State Park the boys placed second, right after the number one team in the state, Rockbridge. The Kickapoo boys cross country team is now ranked 4th in the state.

              Is Hybrid Learning The New Norm?

              Springfield Public Schools has recently announced the new learning plans for students k-12. As of now kindergarten through 8th grade students will be transferring to a 4 day learning week in the beginning weeks of November. Students will attend school Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Wednesday is still left open as a day for the schools to clean and sanitize. As for students in High School, there will be no changes or adjustments. High school students will still follow the hybrid learning plan from August, which included; students A-K attend school on Monday and Tuesday, while L-Z attend school on Thursday and Friday. This new plan for the k-8 students is intended for the remainder of first semester/second quarter. There are still no updates on how school will look for SPS students coming back from Winter break continuing into second semester.

                Online story- Volleyball

                Kickapoo Volleyball has been phenomenal thus far. They are undefeated in their conference so far. They faced Hillcrest and swept them 3-0 this past week. They have swept most of the teams they have faced so far this season. The chiefs will take on any team left in the conference and will try to keep up this winning streak of theirs. They are 17-4 so far, and districts are in two weeks and they plan on winning the district and the state title along with it.

                Change Wars


                Once again FBLA is doing Change Wars for this week. The teacher who’s going to collect the most money, in change, during their first block is going to win the “war”. All the money collected is going to be donated to March of Dimes, a non-profit organization helping newborn babies in town. 

                Mr. Wooderson and the FBLA club are giving a delicious price to the winning teacher and their class, a party of donuts for the entire class.

                E-sports coming to Kickapoo?


                Contender finally opened back at the end of January. Which is a E-sports “gym” to be able to train, learn, and compete against others or on their own time. Giving people the opportunity to be able to use high powered equipment that normally would cost thousands of dollars to obtain. With this obviously means that it is a goal for the other schools along with kickapoo to have true teams and tournaments as well too. The big problem though is funding. The cost to rent the space, the whole facilities, on top of the equipment ,etc. The amount it would cost wouldn’t be worth it to be able to have a full fledged team along with competition by the end of the year (3 months away).

                   The goal now is to try and have all five other districts to be able to compete all together and against each other. Funding is the biggest thing tho because for the fall league (when it would be starting up) would be $2,400 for the whole school with only two teams JV and Varsity with a MAX amount of people at five. All details aren’t still completely in even though contender is now open they still have failed to respond back to Mrs. Cabbella the sponsor of the E-sports club. 

                   Hopefully by the time the next year rolls around we will be able to show our school spirit at a E-sports game cheering on Kickapoo and creating another great rivalry with Glendale within another sport. All that can be done at this point is to wait and see what will become of Kickapoo’s E-sport team. The world of this type of competition is rapidly growing and it’s only a matter of time for more people to make it big by just playing games.

                The Writing Center

                 The writing center is pretty much a group of people that help with any sort of writing that they need help with, such as papers and other things. They have been helping my class a lot with papers that we have been writing lately. They help make edits and tell the student that is working on it basically how to improve grammar, quotations, and much more. They helped me with my paper that I wrote in English III a couple of weeks ago. They are there for any special help that we all need.

                Furry Final Therapy


                A Therapy dog sits and waits patiently to be pet.

                Pet Therapy of the Ozarks is a program that offers certified service animals to come to schools, nursing homes, hospitals, and other facilities.
                They started doing this in the library as a way to try and relieve students of stress that they may feel at the end of a semester.
                “We had seen some articles about colleges doing it and we know how stressful the end of the year can be for students,” librarian Melody Netzer said.

                This is the third year in a row they have visited. They came Thursday, December 12th during lunch hours. Last year they implemented tickets to try to not overwhelm the dogs.
                “It is free and the only reason we do that is so we don’t overwhelm the puppies,” Netzer said.
                Pet therapy is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to get out some stress or who just loves petting cute dogs.

                The Taste Of Water



                  Imagine this, it’s between classes and you only have five minutes to get a drink and get to class. Knowing which fountain to go to can save you a few seconds of those valuable five minutes. Through a set of rigorous tests and an official chart, I’m going to tell you where to get the best water in our school.

                     Eighteen fountains make up what most students can easily access in between classes. Fountains next to each other were rated together and their scores then averaged. This means only twelve fountains are up for the true title of the best fountain.

                   Let’s start with the categories I went through to figure out the best water fountain. 

                    I first started with the coldness of the water. After a long day getting a cold drink can make all the difference. On a scale from one to five, there were many fountains that achieved a perfect score.

                 Fountains near the first floor science wing and first floor history wing have some of the coldest water. Another honorable mention would be the fountain near the concessions stand.

                   The water there is crisp and cold, but did not reach the top of the ranks due to deficits in other categories.

                   The next of the categories I choose to rank the fountains was accessibility. Some fountains were immediately disqualified for being in places an average student cannot get to.

                   Depending on what class you’re in or traveling to could change the accessibility for you. For this, I went with fountains that weren’t meant for certain classes or too far from the rest of the school.

                 My next category was the presentation. This severely lowered the scores of different fountains. Small chunks of food in the drain or unfortunately placed trashcans can ruin a good hydration experience.

                   This caused fountains in the commons, near the gym, and on the second floor near room 244 to lose a majority of their points. 

                   Next is taste. Some people might say that water is tasteless, but I would have to disagree. Water can taste metallic, dirty, and even stale. So, when picking the perfect water fountain, the taste was a big concern.

                   The second floor science wing and second floor English wing fountains had a crisp, clean taste that left me feeling refreshed.

                   Finally, the last of my categories was pressure. When you have to touch the spout the water comes out of to get a drink, it leaves you feeling grossed out. For this, I recommend the first floor science wing or the fountain near the concessions stand.

                   There was one fountain that had everything I was looking for in a quick drink. With five in temperature, accessibility, presentation, and taste the second floor math hallway had the best water. With a 4.8 rating, as the water pressure lost a single point, it’s the best fountain in school.

                   Next time you’re in need of a quick drink and have time to walk to any fountain, the math hall will be waiting. 

                Bowling Club

                The bowling club is one of the many events that take place at Kickapoo. Bowling starts after winter break and is a very competitive club. 

                Bowling club practices at Andy B’s, starting after winter break. Senior Spencer Robarge is very excited to bowl this year and has been practicing very hard in the offseason. 

                “We are getting ready to start and hoping we have a good team coming together. Personally, I had a 300-846 about a month ago” Robarge said. 

                A 300 is a perfect score and 900 is a perfect score in three games. He is very excited and has been practicing for bowling by winning national events. 


                Running For Gold

                   The Cross Country season has come to an end, but it was something to be proud of. Off season and the grind has started for those that are not seniors. One of the girls Ms. Brown finished 6th out of the whole state as a freshman and she ran really well and she ran the 3rd best time in Kickapoo history. But overall the team finished 15 out of 16 teams. Coach Goddard expressed that he is proud of the team as a whole and stated 

                   “I am very proud, even though in the end we wanted to place higher on the ranks but we have room to improve and do better.” Goddard said. 

                   The team is on now on off season and ready to get straight to work and work to place better for next year.

                About the Writer

                Pay it forward



                  Pay it Forward is one of the service clubs students are able to join. Every year their goal is to give back to the community in various ways.

                 During November club members knitted blankets for the women and kids shelter, a place for those who want out of abusive situations. 

                   “During the winter is the busiest time of the year for us,” Mrs. Fraiser said. 

                   Week after week there are various volunteer opportunities and many people in need out there.  The week of December 9th pay it forward are being hired as Santa’s elves to write back to five first-grade classes at Wanda Grey, Jefferies, and Horace Mann elementary. This is something elementary students can look back on as a fun memory and increase their holiday spirits. This tradition that has been going on for years throughout KHS history, even before the previous sponsor of the club.

                   Along with this the members of pay it forward also adopted a family for Christmas while Key club is trying to take on three. 

                   “We are also gathering things for a holiday basket through cross line for a less fortunate family,” Fraiser said. 

                   These will be gifted to them and under the tree come the holidays time. This gives the members of the club satisfaction of knowing they helped the less fortunate giving a little extra that we all are able to give.

                Behind the Tournament


                Academic Team members practice for upcoming competitions.

                Academic Team, or Scholar Bowl as some call it, has been very busy this school year. Their teams have qualified for Nationals as well as preparing for their tournaments coming up soon.
                “In two weeks some of the varsity players are going to a workshop at Mizzou to train. Hopefully, some of us will get on the state team. The Kickapoo Tournament is this week, we have about thirty teams in it. We will not be playing, we’ll just be moderating the groups,” sophomore CJ Wears said.

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