Do you ever begin your writing assignment thinking you have nothing to say? You may have no ideas, too many ideas, or feel uninspired by your ideas. This is normal. Writer’s block is the result of anxiety caused by your inner critic who expects perfection on the first draft.
Try these strategies to battle writer’s block:
Freewrite - Begin to write for ten minutes nonstop just to get some ideas flowing. Don’t worry about grammar, just keep writing.
Cluster - Graphically cluster ideas and details. Write one idea on paper and map out related ideas.
Journal - Journal about your assignment, its purpose, your feelings about it, and any ideas you may have, even if you don’t like them. Try to journal once a day.
Narrow your topic - After you have selected a topic, try to focus/limit/narrow your topic. Be sure your focused topic fits the requirements of the assignment sheet.
Talk it out - Talk about ideas you have on the topic to someone or into a recorder. Ask yourself or have someone else ask you questions about your topic. Often you will say something unexpected, and it will be the beginning of a thesis for your paper.
Break the essay into parts - Organize your topic into graphic boxes, each one representing a body paragraph. Write a few words into each box to represent what idea you will develop in each paragraph.
Begin in the middle - If you know something you want to say, write a body paragraph just to get started.
Create a specified time to write - Show up and start writing at a certain time every day to develop a routine; maybe this routine includes your favorite chair, favorite beverage, or favorite pen.
Visit the College Writing Center - Meet with a Writing Specialist to brainstorm on a topic that will both interest you and fit the assignment. Ask about our Graphic Organizers to help you get started.