5 Tricks to Cure Your Writer’s Block

We all know the feeling. Sitting in that wooden oh-so-comfy chair in the library, coffee running through your veins, you’re ready as ever to start letting your fingers fly across the keyboard.

And all of a sudden: nothing.

Your mind draws a blank. It’s as if you’ve forgotten the entirety of the English language in that moment and, thanks to the coffee, your heart rate quickens at an alarming rate.

Writer’s block—possibly the bane of every student’s existence. Writer’s block is single-handedly one of the trickiest things to overcome.

But fret no more, I’ve got a few tips for you to try.

 

1. Talk It Out

Sometimes you’ve got the idea in your mind and can’t seem to get it into words. Call a friend or family member and tell them what you’re writing about. Start with something like this: “Hey, sorry to bother you but I’m writing this paper on blah blah blah and I think my main point is yada yada yada.” Next thing you know you’re talking what you should be typing.

 

2. Type Something, Anything, and Everything

Ever heard of stream of conscious? Type it. Seriously. Type all your thoughts. It doesn’t even have to be about your paper. “So I’m typing right now and I’m sitting in the Tower Library and this guy just sneezed.” It really doesn’t matter what you type, but what I have found is by transferring the words in your mind to the blinking cursor in front of you, your mind naturally follows suit. Most if not all of my papers start the following way: “So alright I have an essay due this week and I really cannot think of a topic. This class is kind of boring but…” You get the picture.

3. Not Now

I’m a firm believer about being in the right headspace. If you know, truly know, your mind isn’t in the “writing” mode, then don’t do it right then—unless, of course, you’ve procrastinated to the last second. Sometimes it’s just not the right time to start a paper. Then don’t. Simple as that.

 

4. It’s Okay to Suck (at first)

Everyone’s guilty of doing this—typing out a sentence, re-reading it and immediately deleting it. But, why? It’s okay to suck at first. You’re not going to turn in that sentence. If you’re in the right headspace and it still sucks THAT’S OKAY for now. It’s a start, and a start is so much better than a blank page.

 

5. Go Read Something Else

Before starting your paper go read something you love. A page of your favorite book, a sports article, a meme, anything helps. What I do most of the time is read a previous paper of mine, that way I get reacquainted with not just words themselves but MY words.

 

That’s all I got. Granted, I’m well aware that it is possible none of these things will cure that heavy case of writer’s block. If they don’t, I’m really sorry. Good luck on that paper, though!

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