“I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M SUPPOSED TO WRITE!” is usually the phrase at the top of every single written assignment I have ever completed throughout my entire academic career. I find that, like many people, when I need my writing skills the most, they choose to disappear on me, and I end up writing thousands of words of nonsensical blabbering. When I come to my senses, I then realize what I have done and panic. Writer’s block is something that comes to me only when I write something that impacts my GPA, and I HATE it. Over the years, I’ve had to write many reports, essays, paragraphs, and discussion posts—and every time, my mind goes completely blank, as if I never learned how to read. This, of course, is a trait I have come to accept within myself and have improved upon.
Personally, I find that my writer’s block stems from my innate need to procrastinate and put off all my work until the last minute. Once I’ve successfully delayed an essay until the last day, I spend the next twelve hours staring at my screen, wondering, “What am I supposed to do now?”
I like to prevent this form of self-sabotage by ensuring that I have spaced out all my tasks for a particular deliverable in a reasonable manner, which helps to relieve some stress on myself. For example, if I were to have a 10-page report due in 20 days, I would aim to write a page to a page and a half each day until I finished, which would leave me with enough time to actually take the time to edit my work. By doing so, I complete a report in organized chunks within a larger but less stressful amount of time. Whereas in the past I would operate as if there were 25 hours within a day, I now like to space my work out in a realistic manner.
By relieving myself of the stress of procrastination, I am able to avoid writer’s block and tackle my writing in a much less daunting manner. I apply this principle to all my work as well—whether that be studying for midterms and exams or working on other assignments—and it has helped me stay on top of things while also continuing to stay productive and avoid going blank.