Saturday, January 24, 2015

Tips for Writer's Block

(Photo Source)
The worst thing in the world is not being able to do what one loves to do. For me, that means sitting in front of a computer screen trying to come up with an idea while a daunting blank document stares me back in the face. Whether you're attempting to write your next blog post or trying to finish up that ten page research paper you procrastinated on, this guide will provide some tips on overcoming Writer's Block.

Step 1: What would YOU want to read?
The first tip in overcoming writer's block is to think about what you would want to read. If you're writing a paper for a class, jot down some ideas on a topic that you find unique or interesting. Don't write about something someone else already wrote on Sparknotes or Schmoop. Read through your notes and see if you can spot something strange, something you could ask a question about. If you think a topic is interesting, your professor probably finds it interesting as well.

Step 2: Find inspiration.
This is similar to the first step, but also very important. If you're fashion blogger who has absolutely no idea what to write about in her next post, just search up some of your favorite style blogs and see if you can find some fashion inspo. There is a whole website dedicated to finding inspiration and that website is Pinterest. After seeing something you like, remember to put your own spin on it. (Do not plagiarize!)

Step 3: Don't start writing on a Word document.
Okay, this goes for anyone with a Tumblr, Blogger, Wordpress, or any other online social media writing platform. If staring at a blank Word document freaks you out (like it sometimes does me) then you might be better off writing your essay on a Tumblr, Blogger or Wordpress template. Trust me, the casual feel of writing on an online platform is way less intimidating than having to write on Word. Once you've gotten started on your essay, you can switch back to your official Word doc.

Step 4: Do NOT turn off your internet.
I've read countless posts about turning off the internet to help with writer's block. This tactic never works. For me, surfing the web actually prompts my brain to start thinking, working and coming up with ideas. Don't isolate yourself in a completely enclosed room; you'll end up wasting time trying to find the door. Instead, think of the internet as windows in your room, a connection to inspiration and other ideas.

Step 5: Just write.
This might sound extremely obvious, "Well, yeah. That's what I'm trying to do, Erin. Write." but this step is not as clear as it seems. Most people believe that in order to write something, one must come up with an idea first. Let me just say now that you don't need a jaw-dropping idea in order to write. Whenever I'm attempting to think of a new blog post, I'll open a Blogger document and just start writing down whatever thought is in my head at the moment. I'll write about my day and my friends and what I ate. I'll write about my new jewelry box or how the people living across the street have the word, "book" spelled out on their window. I'll write about the characters in a novel that I'm reading or a music video I recently watched that almost, maybe blew my mind. The result is multiple drafts on my Blogger dashboard which I can revisit in order to spark an idea.

Sometimes, it is easier to write down information without the stress of finding a topic to write about. I promise, if you just start writing, your next great idea will end up on the page.