Beating Writer's Block
by h. grieb
By this time in the semester, you're already a writing machine. Just two more papers, and you're done. No problem. Or so you think.
You resume your position in front of the computer screen and open a new document. There it is - the blank page - and there it stays. Just like that. Blank. Every time you write a sentence, you end up pressing delete.
"Maybe it's just the lack of sleep. I need some coffee." Four cups later and you're still like:
Okay, put the coffee pot down, and grab some water. It's important to stay hydrated throughout the finals marathon. Drinking a cup of coffee can give you a badly-needed boost, but too much caffeine can actually overstimulate your system, increase anxiety, and inhibit your ability to focus. Drink responsibly, folks.
Now take your creative pulse: What is your aim in writing this assignment? Re-evaluate your expectations. If your expectations are too high, you will never be satisfied with your progress or the final product.
Still struggling? Here are some additional strategies for beating writer's block:
-Make a list of words or phrases. Whether on a separate sheet of paper or in your word document, writing anything – even a single word – helps when you’re stuck in a rut. I keep a legal pad and pen by my laptop, so I can write down words or phrases that come into my head without cluttering my word document. This process forces thoughts out of my head and onto a piece of paper, so I can better visualize the material I need to weave into the text.
-Try switching it up and working on a different section. You do not have to write in the same order the paper will take.
-Step away from the computer. No, I mean it. Get up, stretch, and move around. If it’s a nice day out, head outside for a quick stroll around the block. Raining? Talk a little walk around your desk.
-Schedule a session at the Writing Center. We're open during finals week and ready to help you meet the challenges of academic writing. (Open Monday 12/7 - Thursday 12/10, 11am - 6pm & Friday 12/11, 11am - 3pm)
*Remind yourself: Writing is just practice. We're all learning. All we can do is our best, and hopefully, our time and effort shines through.