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Writer's Block

Student WritingWriter’s block can cause frustration in the writing process. You could be in the middle of a draft or still trying to come up with a topic when it hits: “I have no idea what to do next." 

Why might you be experiencing writer’s block?

There are several reasons why you may become blocked in the writing process. Identifying that reason can help you figure out what you need to do in order to move on.  What might be yours?

  • You aren’t familiar enough with your topic.
    • Use some of the narrowing your topic techniques to begin to brainstorm some alternative ways to examine your topic.
    • Use freewriting to help open your thoughts and get some ideas down.
    • Do more research so that you can gain knowledge about this topic.
  • You are nervous or self-conscious about writing this paper.
    • Remind yourself that this is just a rough draft; you are allowed to make mistakes.
    • Dive into the writing. You will feel better once you get something on the page.  Remember if you don’t start, you will never finish.
  • You are a perfectionist who can’t stand to see grammar and spelling mistakes on the computer screen.
    • Try to avoid looking at the computer screen when you are writing.
    • Cover the computer screen or turn off the screen.
  • You have already grown bored with the topic you are using.
    • If it is early enough, find a new topic.
    • Discuss with someone how you can make the topic more interesting.
    • Try looking at your topic from a new and challenging angle.
  • The computer screen or blank page makes you forget what you wanted to say.
    • Use a tape recorder to record and copy what you say onto the page.
    • Remember that you are just writing a rough draft.  Don’t worry about saying it right the first time.