How to Overcome Writer's Block

Have you ever experienced "writer's block"? Most students have, but how can you overcome this crippling condition when your paper is due so soon?

I have researched many methods to prevent and overcome writer's block for my personal benefit as a student. The differing methods are focused for different writers and learning styles. For instance, the student who spends a great deal of time researching for an expository essay or research paper may benefit from regular breaks throughout the writing process (approx. 15 minutes/hour) to keep their mind and fingers fresh and nimble. On the other hand, a student can benefit from free-writing and then editing their paper once done. The free-writing method has a student write all his entire thoughts first, without formatting or editing, and then take time afterward to properly edit and format the work. As a tool for all the students I tutor, I remind them to not look at their finished essay for 24 hours once their final edits have been completed. I call this time the "sleep on it" time and it has been proven effective in many cases. During the editing process, it is common for students to continually edit to the point that incorrect edits are being made. Taking time away and reading your work a full day after you have completed it creates a great scope of prospective and allows you to view your work in a proper frame of mind.

Regardless of the method that works for you, be mindful that writer's block is a common occurrence and its onset does not indicate an inevitability of failure. Addressing writer's block immediately and effectively can make any writing experience more efficient, effective, and possibly even fun!



Christopher G.

Adjunct Professor and multi-subject tutor

20+ hours
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