It will happen to almost all of us at some point or another. The crippling bane known as Writer’s Block. It can stop an amazing paper in its tracks, but it doesn’t have to stay there.
Sometimes it just isn’t time to start writing yet. Ideas - like stew - need time to marinate and properly blend. Because of that, you may need to spend a little more time thinking about and reviewing your research before setting pen to page.
This, along with many other reasons, is why it is important to get started on your papers early.
Lots of writers struggle with fear when they write. They can be afraid of putting their ideas on paper for others to see, fear of not having a quality paper, or fear of saying the wrong thing by accident.
No matter why writers are afraid, it is a natural and understandable experience. The key isn’t to be un-afraid but to acknowledge the fear and then move forward anyway.
While most writers should be encouraged to slow down a little and review their work more, perfectionists can spend so much time making sure everything is just right that they don’t ever get to actually writing their paper. Writing is a messy process but you have to get something down on paper before you can tackle editing it.
Although there are a few reasons why people can get Writer’s Block, there are lots of ways to get past it. Here are some of our favorites.
Get away for a bit.
If you have ever seen one of those paintings that are made of tiny dots, this solution works in a similar way. Sometimes we can get too close or wrapped up in the minutiae of a paper and miss the bigger picture of what we’re doing.
If all you can see are the individual dots, its hard to make them fit together. Taking a step back, a walk around the block or even an evening away from your paper can help you see your paper in a new light and find a way forward.
Get your blood flowing.
Most of us probably write papers while we’re sitting. Staying in the same position and posture for too long is not only bad for your health, it can also keep those creative juices from flowing. Even if you only do some desk-side yoga, getting your blood flowing with some physical activity can get your writing started back up in a flash.
Playing is all about being creative and having fun. Especially when you get to be imaginative. Take a break from writing and do something creative or imaginative to get your brain back on track. LEGO’s, play dough, and doodling are some excellent choices.
Change your environment.
Although many people like to write in the same environment, if you’ve hit a wall it may make sense to switch it up and try something new. Sitting near a window, putting on some new music, or changing the direction you’re facing are all simple ways to get a new perspective.
Just start writing.
This may seem crazy, but sometimes the only way to break through the wall is to just start writing anything. It doesn’t have to be good, whole sentences, or even related to your paper. Just let the words flow without thinking about them or spending time choosing them. Write about how you can’t write even. Sometimes the quickest way to get over the hump is to force yourself past it.
This Won’t Help
Although it may seem tempting, you won’t help yourself get over Writer’s Block by refusing to write until you feel motivated. In that case, a sure and fast deadline will be the only motivation that will get you working.
It also won’t help to watch TV. It’s there and easy to slip into, but clicking on the television isn’t doing anything to help your brain kick into gear.
Finally, don’t let yourself get stuck in self-pity. Writing is a necessary and important part of school (even if it sucks). Spending mental energy thinking about how tough it is means you aren’t spending that energy actually doing it.
We believe in you and know that you can write a great paper once you give it a go.