It is common for many students to have an essay assignment you need you’re struggling to conjure ideas or a solid topic. Your mind – and the computer screen in front of you – is completely blank.
Writer’s block refers to those greater-than-ordinary blockages. It occurs when a writer feels truly stuck and unable to write.
Blogger, writer, copywriter – everyone has had writer’s block at least once. Writer’s block isn’t a disease; it isn’t something that person should treat, it’s normal condition happening to every artistic soul.
There are many possible causes, including anxiety, stress, or a simple lack of understanding of the material. Below are some common causes of writer’s block, with some potential solutions. Do not forget that if you have access to a writing centre, probably the best way to work through writer’s block is to meet with a writing centre instructor.
A creative slowdown has several different types; once you understand the reason, it will be easier to handle creativity issues. Learn how to overcome the syndrome:
Clear Your Head
While you might be panicking and freel pressed for time, taking a break may help set your mind straight. Go for a walk, grab some food, fold your laundry. Take your mind off your paper and come back to it, refreshed.
Sometimes we just become stressed because of deadlines, the editor, or we are worrying about our future readers. Just forget about it for an hour, clear your mind, go for a walk or phone a friend and have a drink.
Have you done too much research? Go to the library and speak with a librarian about finding materials on your topic and specific to the discipline. Go back and reread key passages from your research materials. Write in your own words so that you engage more fully with the material. Be sure to jot down any of your own ideas as well.
Explaining your argument again, as well as thinking through the thing you’re stuck on with another person can reinvigorate you and help work out the source of your paper’s problems. It can even get you excited about writing again.
Be sure that you have a specific topic. If you try to write on a topic that is too general or too vague, you will probably struggle. Use course materials to help you generate or refine your topic. Reread lecture notes or readings in areas that you find interesting or that relate to the assigned topic.
Pretend you’re writing, not to your editor or an audience or to a readership, to someone close, like your sister, or your mother, or someone else.
Just choose the person you’d most like to write for and write for them; why not?
Talk about your ideas. Have a conversation with a friend or another student in your class. Speak with your instructor about how to proceed with any thoughts you might already have for the assignment.
Just keep writing, even if you have no idea what to write about. Write simple things, write stupid things, write again and again and once you do, will find your problem has disappeared.
Something as simple as filling the page with the most irrelevant content can occur during writer’s block. Turn to your notes and previous assignments for inspiration, and possibly even for an outline or some sentences to get you started. Do not simply copy and paste an earlier assignment unless you’ve received the approval from all instructors involved.
Don’t try to use unfamiliar words to sound smart, and don’t convince yourself that your readers want you to do so. Focus on getting your ideas down simply and clearly.
Create an atmosphere. Sometimes all we need to focus on writing is to create the right atmosphere; turn on your favorite music or relaxing sounds: the sound of rain, fire, birds, dolphins, etc. Make hot chocolate or aromatic coffee with milk, find your cat if you have one, light a fire: do everything that calms you and helps you concentrate on work.
Read books. If you lack inspiration, read authors who inspire you. “The classics illustrate for us the possibilities that language holds if we were patient enough to look, dedicated enough to try. They inspire us to overcome the sloth which makes us use words carelessly.”
If your paper is causing problems for you early on, it’s highly unlikely those problems will go away. Directly confront writer’s block and fight through it. It can be a long struggle, but in the end, you’ll have a better essay if you start writing it early.