Writer’s block — we’ve all been there. Whether it’s the week before, night before or day of (hopefully not) your paper is due, staring at a blank screen with an empty mind is a terrible feeling. With midterms around the corner and new assignments underway, this is a crucial time to put forth your best work. However, it is hard to do this when you are feeling stressed out and uninspired to write. It seems as though turning to television for a break is never just a one episode occasion, but rather it turns into a binge-watching marathon. So, this blog is designated to providing tips for how to combat writer’s block — with a twist.
- Journal it out. Instead of staring at a blank screen, grab a pen and paper and spend some time freewriting. You may not write out your full paper, but you will definitely be inspired. Sometimes all you need is to take away the distraction of the internet and free write your thoughts the old fashioned way.
- Talk about it. Writer’s block makes it extremely difficult to express your ideas. Personally, I find it helpful to talk out my thoughts. Discuss your assignment topic with your roommate, call a relative, or find a friend to listen to you brainstorm your ideas for a few minutes. Sometimes all it takes is talking to find your voice.
- Exercise. As an advocate for health and fitness, I highly recommend working out to clear your mind. Not only does going for a run re-energize you, but it is also a great excuse to get a workout in.
- Make a creative space for yourself. I know I cannot write unless I am in a creative space. Try making yourself comfortable in your room or the library by placing yourself by a window for some natural light, or sit outside for some fresh air. It can be as simple as a change of location to unlock new ideas.
- Disregard the rules. Sometimes starting your paper is the hardest challenge to overcome. The solution: Disregard the rules. Start writing the part of your paper you feel most passionate about, then go back and fill in the paragraphs you need to. More importantly, don’t edit while you write in order to keep the creativity flowing. Once you’ve written a substantial amount, go back and edit your paper to make sure it is not only grammatically correct, but also to see if you want to add or change anything to the ideas you wrote.
It is important to find the right tool for you in order to combat writer’s block. Next time you find yourself staring at a blank screen, take a breath and remember writer’s block is a challenge you can overcome — it just takes a little change in your approach to produce the product you want.
Carly Price is a freshman majoring in journalism. Her column, With a Twist, runs every week on Wednesday.