Opinion

How to overcome writer’s block

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Writer’s block hits hard, hits fast, and hits all. Whether the paper is a research analysis, master’s thesis, or even an opinion piece, at one point we’ve all struggled to type a decent sentence. It strikes individuals from fifth graders typing their book reports to notable novelists crafting their next best seller.

Maybe you lost a muse or the motivation to write. Maybe you feel trapped in a cage that is too short to stand in and too small to lie down. Maybe you stare at the blinding white page of a Word document, and the only progress you made is reaching a new high score in counting the number of blinks made by the blinking cursor. Whatever the situation, it’s frustrating.

Even your own Daily Campus journalists and editors have felt the hair-pulling, eye-gouging angst of writing. We all have different ways to overcome writer’s block, some work better than others. Saving people from their absent minds (in terms of writing, of course), I present the best –yes, the best – 6 ways to get back into the groove of writing:

1. Take a break

Step away from your paper and do something creative. Sketch in a notebook, take a restorative nap, blog on your blog. Take your mind off the drudgery of work and refresh your creative juices with some play. Find a new hobby, rediscover an old one, immerse yourself into an activity you enjoy. After a short break, relax in your chair and start your essay again.

2. Move around

Get up and move. Ease your tense muscles and bring your body into flow. Take a walk down the Boulevard or go for a jog on Katy Trail. Stretch your arms, inhale and exhale, and practice yoga, even the fellas. Meditate. Moving your body will relax your mind and allow you to move past writer’s block.

3. Free write

Writer’s block is similar to constipation; both prevent you from finishing your business. One of the best ways to release your clogged mind lies in letting it all out. Write everything that comes to your mind whether it’s related to your essay or otherwise. Remove all of the unnecessary toxins that poison your mind and prevent you from writing. Completely unload ugly prose and let it alight on your paper. Once you get it all out, delete it and let new, inspired ideas cover the page.

4. Succumb to your vices

Let temptation take control. Allow your vices to submerge you in their feel-good world. Treat yourself: eat that chocolate bar, binge on junk food, buy a pound of cocaine. Just kidding, junk food is bad for you. If you smoke, go for a cigarette break. I recommend stimulants, specifically coffee because it’s safe, accessible, and effective. You’ll be amazed by what your mind comes up with after diving into your vices.

5. Eliminate distractions

Remove the clutter in your mind by removing the clutter on your desk. As hard as it may be, disconnect from the world. Turn off your phone, get off Facebook, and devote a specific amount of time to writing. Escape from the world and give yourself space and solitude to remain attentive to your essay.

6. Read

Basically speaks for itself. But stay away from comics, forums (that includes Reddit, sorry not sorry), and untrustworthy articles. Read a chapter from your favorite novel, catch up on news, or read a short story. Pick up a newspaper and read an article from your favorite writer, preferably one of my works.

This list should help break down writer’s block, but when you’re writing anything – an essay, article, or research – have fun with your paper. Include a bad joke or two, make an inappropriate comment here and there, vent about your professor or drama in your life. And delete it if it doesn’t pertain to the subject of your paper. I’ve written at least 3 crude and poorly executed jokes about certain flailing limbs, one rant about drama, and another expressing my exasperations with the editor-in-chief. Just kidding Lauren, you da best.

The more you write, the easier writing becomes. Keep typing those research papers, analysis essays, or any other writing assignments. Good luck.

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