I feel like, sometimes, when our days are stressful and our creativity is limited, we can’t always get our ideas across, or at least, not in the way we want it to. There are numerous reasons why writer’s block is a huge source of pain for bloggers, students (and AU students writing term essays right now? This is for you.), professors, and really anyone looking to write a sentence, a paragraph, or a novel. Having been a writer since I was 8 years old, I struggle with writer’s block all the time. Today, having experienced it myself, I decided to write about it and share tips I’ve used to help overcome this problem.
The first step to beating writer’s block is to understand the source of your mental block. Is it too many ideas or too few ideas? Is it because you have many competing obligations or fear that your ideas are not good enough or that the way that it is explained is not clear enough? After that, try these:
Optimize your Environment
Sometimes if we’re surrounded by clutter or in a stressful situation we’re not always able to make full use of our self-expression and creativity. Writing is a form of communication that requires a clear mind. Typically for most people this means being in a comfortable environment at a desk or table somewhere. For others, a busy cafe might be the perfect place to stay focused. Find your comfortable environment first then think about what you need to write.
Follow a Prompt
If you’re worried that what you write isn’t “quality work”, try following a prompt such as a guiding question. For example, my question for this article was “how can someone overcome writer’s block?” this helped me organize my writing into segments and focus small chunks at a time. If you’re writing a larger essay, starting with a prompt can help generate ideas and get them all on paper before you have time to critique your own writing.
Don’t Feel Pressured to be Right the First Time
When I was younger, I always felt an immense stress when composing my sentences. Especially since english wasn’t my first language, I often worried that my grammar wasn’t correct or that my vocabulary was too simple. This often meant spending hours perfecting a single paragraph. Being a writer is being comfortable with yourself and your writing. Having realistic expectations that your writing won’t be Shakespearian at first glance or good enough to be featured on the cover of New York Times. This comfort with go a long way.
Read other’s writing for inspiration
If you’re still stuck after the first three tips, I recommend spending some time reading and researching the topic of interest. Sometimes, if I have not enough times, I resort to reading hot topics and thought-provoking articles on aeon.co It’s an online magazine that explores ideas and culture.