The do’s and don’ts of writer’s block

By: Emily Fehrman / Opinion Page Editor

We’ve all been there. I know we have.

You’ve known about an essay for a week but still waited until the last minute. It happens to the best of us, just move on buddy you’ll get through it. But just in case you need a little help with that pesky writer’s block, I wrote this column.

The first step of the don’ts – don’t sit there wallowing in your self-pity. It won’t help. If anything, you’re just procrastinating even more than you should’ve.

Stop making excuses or waiting until a certain time to start doing it. “Accidently” missing that certain time by a few minutes and putting it off even more.

Don’t put on a TV show or movie, hopelessly waiting for inspiration. Shut down as many distractions as possible. It won’t come by sitting there not even thinking about it. The same applies to doing anything to “take your mind off it for a bit.”

It’s the most counterproductive thing to do, you’re actively putting all thoughts anywhere other than that paper.

Which leads to the do’s. Taking a break is alright. I don’t mean to abandon it for hours and maybe come back to it.

Try to do things that get that creative part of your brain flowing. Maybe something artistic or creative.

Start writing about anything under the sun, how your day was, whatever’s on your mind, and the words will flow a little easier because you eased your brain into it.

Find someone to talk to help talk it out. It could be a roommate, your parents, a friend, or significant other. Doing this can help work through any problems the essay has, also giving it enough time to settle and get in there to edit it.

Go in and talk with your instructor about your topic and your outline. They don’t mind it and like to see that their students are caring about their papers.

Here are some quick tips of things to help that blockage. Get out of the house for a bit, go for a walk. If you’ve got a dog, take it with you.

If you are still at home and have younger siblings, go play with them. Kids are the most creative and often are relaxing (when they aren’t your own).

Give your laptop a change in scenery. Take it on a lovely coffee shop date and try not to leave until you’ve finished it.

At least reach whatever goal you’ve set for yourself. If you’re on top of it trying to not wait until the last minute, that’s good.

Get some caffeine in your system. If I could take a Vertigo Smoothie from Scooters and inject it into my veins, I would.

Try giving classical music a try. It’s relaxing and puts me in the right headspace to write for a few hours.

If none of that works, I don’t know what to tell you. No one said I was all-knowing. Good luck and happy writing.

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