The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Dealing with Writer’s Block

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Laptop and writer's block

Being a journalism and communication double-major, it is no surprise that most of my assignments revolve around writing. I love how writing lets me be creative and always gives me a piece to reflect on. My papers and articles supply me with the ability to read them and track what areas need improvement. When it comes to writing, the hardest part for me is always facing writer's block before I start an assignment.

 

I will seriously sit for a half hour looking at my blank Google Doc, not knowing where to begin. Sometimes my name, date, and class in the top left corner will remain the only words on the page for over an hour. Then, I’ll think to myself, "Enough is enough. It’s time to get typing." So, I just start writing words on the page even if they don’t make sense. I think it’s better to get all your thoughts down because you are bound to start typing up something good in no time!

 

It’s important to eliminate all distractions. Let’s face it, phones are a big one, especially when they are dinging every other minute. My phone will be quiet all day and then all of sudden when I go to start an assignment, it doesn’t stop going off. That’s just how life works. What I do to combat the temptation to scroll is have one of my roomates put it on silent and hide it. It works like a charm. Just make sure they remember where they hid it!

 

The more I read the easier it becomes to write. Over the summer, I was really big into reading autobiographies by professionals I look up to. This way I got the best of both worlds, learning about future career paths while keeping my cognitive skills in use. In order to be a good writer you need to be a good reader.

 

Remember that taking a break is always okay, but try to limit each break to 10 minutes. I typically like to make myself a quick coffee with my Keurig and then get back to writing. If I wait too long before getting back into the assignment, I won’t have the motivation to dive back into it.

 

I think journaling is a great way to become a better writer, which in turn will prevent writer’s block. I like to write in a journal at night reflecting on my day and talk about one thing I learned. Plus, looking back at your journal entries can often inspire future story ideas!

 
Writer’s block is often times inevitable. Just know basically everyone deals with it, and it’s perfectly normal! I find having a plan in advance to prevent it is what works best for me.

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