Overcoming Writer’s Block
Do you ever get stuck in your writing? Have you ever felt paralyzed by a blank page? Or worse yet – do you feel you are the only one who experiences this?
At Writing Support, we hear complaints about writer’s block on a daily basis. It happens to even the most experienced writers. There are different reasons why writer’s block might occur:
- Not having enough writer’s strategies,
- Lack of sufficient information on your topic,
- Trying to say too much in one essay/paragraph, or
- Simply being completely out of ideas.
Here are some strategies for writer’s block. See if any of them work for you:
This seems to be the number one trick. If your ideas stop flowing, take a 15-minute break to make some tea or coffee, cook, watch something, move around the apartment, or go for a walk or a jog.
If you go for a walk, don’t forget to bring a pen and paper – you never know when ideas (and words) might start flowing again!
It is important to differentiate between the idea of taking a short break and constantly interrupting your work to browse online or check your Facebook account. This is a subtle form of procrastination.
2. Talk to someone
If you have a chance, try talking to someone about your ideas. This can be your sibling, roommate, someone in your class or your program, even your grandmother.
Try explaining your main points to them. This might help you find the right words and clarify what you want to say.
If you are having difficulty understanding your assignment, you can even email your professor and ask for clarification.
If you happen to be stuck and there’s no one around to talk to, try using a cell phone to record yourself talking about your ideas and later write down the parts that you liked.
You can also make a list of keywords and phrases and their synonyms first, and then slowly expand them into sentences and later, into paragraphs. Another fun and creative way to take stock of your ideas and the connections among them visually is to draw diagrams of your ideas.
4. Turn off your Internet.
We are so used to being wired in that we sometimes forget that time spent casually surfing on the net can be incredibly time-consuming and time wasting. You can make sure to limit your surfing time, which includes social media, to short breaks between work periods. You can even turn your Internet off for a few hours, so that you’re not tempted by any distractions!
If you’re experiencing issues with flow while attempting to write, it might be a good idea to take a pen and a piece of paper when you’re away from your desk.
Sometimes, inspiration and clarity come in the most unexpected moments. Take advantage of those moments by making sure that you are prepared to capture them to include in your paper later.