You sit down at the computer to write and see a blank page staring at you. You stare back… your mind goes blank. You can’t think of a thing to write! What on earth do you have to say? Your creativity suddenly flew out the window. Your inspiration has left the building. How many times have you experienced this situation, known as writer’s block? If you write on a regular basis, it is likely that you have had this happen a few times.
In graduate school, I discovered a way to avoid writer’s block when working on a big project. I would commit to writing for at least 15 minutes everyday. If I couldn’t think of anything to write that related to my project, I would just start typing and writing about my thoughts. I would just write – even if it didn’t make any sense. Most of the time, this would free me up and I could start writing on my dissertation. The keys to this approach are to commit to only a short amount of time (so you don’t get overwhelmed) and to allow yourself to start writing about anything.
Another tip that has kept me from being stalled by writer’s block is that I do not worry about being perfect. I start by writing my ideas and don’t worry too much about grammar and flow. I get the first draft down and then go back and edit. It is a lot easier to go back and edit than it is to write perfectly from the start.
I hope these tips help you squash writer’s block. If you have other tips on breaking through this problem, please share them here.