Did you know that even the best writers can get stuck? Even George RR Martin found it hard to stay focused on the Song of Ice and Fire series. He wrote several books. All of them are huge. You wouldn’t assume someone like him could get stuck, right?
No one is immune.
The writer’s block is an internal struggle, which leads to a complete inability to write. You started off well. You managed to write few paragraphs. Now, you look at that page and you can’t understand where all your creative ideas vanished. Sometimes you don’t even know how to start an essay.
For a professional writer, the writer’s block means they would have to extend the deadline for their project.
For a student, it means they don’t get the grade they want. Professors don’t usually extend the deadlines. If you tell them you’re blocked, they will assume you’re making excuses. They will tell you that if you’re stuck on essay, you should get unstuck and write it by the deadline.
How do you do that?
1. Always Have an Outline
It’s hard to find a remedy for a writer’s block, mainly because each situation is individual. So it’s best if we talk about prevention first.
Your teachers always tell you to craft an outline before you start writing the paper. Online guides tell you the same thing.
The outline has a purpose to keep you focused. But it also works as an idea-generation template. After the brainstorming process, you organize all ideas in that outline. You plan how the final result is going to look like. You write bullet points for each section.
With a plan like this, it’s hard to get blocked somewhere in the middle. All you need to do is fill in the gaps.
It’s hard to force the writing process. When you’re in a creative block, it’s best to step away from the assignment. Take the day off. Don’t think about it. You’ll read instead. The things you read don’t have to be related to the topic. In fact, it’s better if they are not related to it. You don’t want to get “too inspired” and start copying someone else’s content.
Read some of the best essays ever written. Read in-depth magazine articles. Read a book!
A study from 2010 showed that when exposed to the creative work of other authors, people tend to get more creative.
3. Start from Another Part
So you’re working on a research paper or another lengthy assignment. You get stuck when you try to write the introduction. What do you do?
Start somewhere else! Write the Methodology chapter first. Write any chapter you feel like writing. You might get yourself going.
You can do the same thing with essays and all simple papers. If you can’t start with the introduction, start with the body’s arguments.
4. Figure Out Where It’s Coming From
Why did you get stuck?
This is a mental block. What caused it?
5. Try the Freewriting Method
This will be as fun as you’re ready to make it.
Open a blank document in the word processor you use. Write the topic of your assignment as a title. Then, write. Don’t bother about facts, logical flow, or anything else. Just write whatever you feel like writing. You should only make an effort to stay on topic.
Don’t worry; this won’t be the version you present to your professor. It’s just an exercise that helps you to get unstuck.
During freewriting, you allow all ideas to come to surface. Somewhere inside those random sentences, you’ll find the idea that gets you back on track with the assignment.
6. Don’t Waste Time
When you get stuck, you’ll need a break. But that break has to be short. You’ll use it for reading, exercise, or another pastime that would help you get over the mental blockade.
You have to get back to work ASAP. If you procrastinate for too long, you’ll never continue working on the assignment. The deadline will get too close and you’ll get frantic. At that point, you’ll be too blocked to continue.
7. Work with a Writer
If the deadline is already too close and you’re nowhere close to completing the assignment, you need a direct solution to the problem.
You can work with an online tutor to get help with assignment. Did you know that? You’ll give them instructions about your project. Then, you’ll talk about different ways to approach the topic. They will give you ideas. They can help you write any chapter.
Sometimes, communication is the only solution you need. You can’t talk to your peers, since they could steal the ideas you had. The writer will be discrete, and they will guarantee not to share anything about this project with anyone.
Being stuck is a tricky situation.
You want to do your best on this assignment. You want to impress. You make an attempt, but you can’t seem to write anything that’s good enough. You start thinking about the assignment too much. Then you start stressing over the fact that you’re stuck. That gets you even more stuck.
It’s your mindset that’s pushing you deeper into the writer’s block.
You need to relax and do something about it. With the tips above, you have a starting point. What technique will you try first?
BIO:Michael Stoddard is an enthusiastic researcher and academic writer. He also maintains a blog that teaches students how to handle different assignments. He believes that all students can write if they follow the right instructions.