It happens when you least expect it– halfway through the ten page paper that you are writing for your American Literature class, you suddenly run out of steam. You stare at the computer screen for hours, willing the words that you can’t seem to find to magically appear. Time is ticking away, but you can’t seem to move forward. What is going on? Congratulations, you are experiencing writer’s block.
Writer’s block is simply an inability to write. According to the Owl at Purdue, writer’s block can occur for several reasons. Perhaps you are uninterested in the topic assigned. Or maybe you don’t understand what the assignment is asking you to do. Stress and anxiety about writing the paper can also lead to you getting “stuck” when writing a paper.
Writer’s block can be frustrating, but it can be defeated. Some tips for overcoming writer’s block include:
- Relax. Stressing out will only further hinder you.
- Brainstorm. Mapping out the content of paper makes it easier to write.
- Force yourself to write down something, however poorly worded, that comes close to expressing your thoughts (you can revise this later) and go on with the next idea.
- Talk to your professor or a tutor to help narrow down your ideas.
- Think positive!