By Kimberly Grace Limpahan
One of the most terrible feelings in the world is when you run out of words while you have a deadline to beat. With the never ending essay requirements, you end up finding yourself staring at the computer screen with your head throbbing, and ideas all dried up. You try your best to focus, but you just could not. Well guess what, you are experiencing a phenomenon called “writer’s block.”
Most of us find it hard to start writing. Even thinking of the perfect word to start your sentence already eats up most of the time in the whole writing process. You feel motivated to finish your paper because of the deadline but nothing just comes into your mind. And then you start freaking out. Well, that’s pretty normal because even the best writers out there also have a trouble with writer’s block too.
Here’s a famous line from the late Maya Angelou: “What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.”
To simplify that statement, here are some ways that you can try to overcome your writer’s block:
Face it, you easily get distracted. Distractions also cause writer’s block. When your mind is loaded with other matters, you tend to be unfocused on what you are supposed to do. Clean your workspace to maintain order in your surroundings. Keep away those things which can distract you like your cellphone or any gadget that may cause a diversion of interest. And of course, set your mind to focus on your agenda – to write. You can go back to writing when your mind is already free from anything that might disturb you.
Find an inspiration.
Seriously, thinking about the deadline just adds up to the pressure. Finding an inspiration is not too hard to do – it’s simply everywhere. By just listening to music or reading a book, you may be able to discover words or phrases which can help you generate more thoughts. Being motivated keeps you going; the more you’re inspired, the faster you finish your paper.
Take a nap.
If you can’t think of something to write, then don’t force yourself. Pushing yourself too hard would just give you a headache. Have a short nap and let your mind wander around dreamland. In this way, you are letting your brain take a break from too much thinking. But then you should never forget, just a nap.
Go for a walk.
Take a short break from writing, by going for a short walk around your place. You can possibly find an inspiration and think of ideas as you explore your surroundings. Going for a walk can also help you to relax your mind from too much thinking. After all, most great ideas come without even thinking too hard.
So after that short break, here’s the part when you write randomly. Write anything that pops into your mind and do not pay attention to the grammar or punctuation marks. Just let all your ideas roll. When you freewrite, you are exercising your brain to think and eventually, words will flow out on its own. Although most of the things you have written might not be put into use, at least you have already conditioned your mind for the better ideas. After you freewrite, that’s the time when you organize your thoughts, edit the punctuation and grammar, and do the polishing.
A writer’s block is only temporary. Don’t worry about being stuck with a blank sheet of paper in front of you. Take a deep breath and get your thoughts flowing again. You have no idea how long I have faced my computer screen before I was able to write this article. All I did was write, write, write; took a short break and yes, ‘the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, Okay. Okay. I’ll come.’~