If you are a high school student, you probably have to write regularly. From homework to term papers to college application essays, you get your share of writing assignments. Even good writers sometimes have difficulty writing. At times you may feel as if you have nothing to write about a particular topic.
You have writer’s block.
Here are a few tips to help you overcome writer’s block.
- Don’t procrastinate. Procrastination can make writer’s block worse, but it can also cause it. The pressure of a deadline can be paralyzing. Try to get a draft done well before it’s due.
- Don’t worry about the details. The most important part of writing is to simply write. Avoid focusing on spelling, grammar, and punctuation as you get your ideas down on paper. Fix those details during editing.
- Write about what you know. If you are facing a creative writing assignment, write about something you know about. Ann Lamott, a novelist who writes about writing in her book Bird by Bird, suggests writing about experiences in the school cafeteria. It sounds strange, but her point is that when you write about a personal experience, you can sometimes get the momentum to overcome your writer’s block.
- Read or go to the movies. If you are really at a loss for writing material, reading will be an immense help. Read about your topic; read something that has nothing to do with your topic. Reading opens the mind and invites new ideas. Isaac Asimov’s answer to writer’s block was a trip to the movies. Sometimes the best thing to do to get the words flowing is to let the world tell you a story.
- Do a body check. While this may sound like part of the new TSA screening procedure, it’s not. When I’m tired, I find writing harder. Check yourself and make sure that you are eating well and sleeping enough. Create the conditions that will let you do your best writing.
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