Three methods to chip away your writer’s block

Yvonne Tang | Senior Graphic Artist

Maybe it’s midterm season, and you have a million different papers that are due, or maybe you write for a publication on campus and can’t think of any new ideas for what to write.You’re experiencing writer’s block and feel as if you can’t move past the title of what you’re writing. 

Some people think there’s no way to get out of that rut — you just have to wait it out until you’re ready to write again. However, where there’s a will there’s a way. 

Here are three methods to get you out of writer’s block.

The brain dump method.

Let’s say you’re trying to write a paper, but you don’t know where to start. You have all these ideas, and you know what you want to talk about. You just don’t know how to write it. My solution — dump it out. Get on Google Doc and just start typing. Don’t worry about how it sounds or if it’s organized. Just get the words out, and eventually you’ll find your way.

But maybe it’s not an essay you’re trying to write. Maybe you write poetry for fun and you’ve been on a creative block — really struggling to get your emotion on the page. The brain dump method works here, too. Write out everything you’re thinking or feeling and eventually you’ll find a poem in there somewhere.

Sometimes we think we’re stuck because we have nothing to say when that’s not always the case. Sometimes we’re so overwhelmed by life that it all gets lost. The brain dump method helps to clear out our brain so it can run smoothly again and we can find what we were looking for. 

Listen to every conversation.

This method works for any form of writing. If you have to write an essay for class, talk to your professors or other students in the class about the subject you’re writing about. Ask questions and hear what other people have to say. That may sound like I’m telling you to plagiarize and copy what other people think, but I promise I’m not.

In the same way that the brain dump method helps clear the pathways of our thoughts, listening to other people can remind us of what we truly think about something. Sometimes it’s not until someone else tells me what they think about something that I realize how I feel about it, whether I agree with them or not. 

When it comes to creative writing, listening to the people around you can be so inspiring. A friend will say two words to me and suddenly I’ll have written a whole story on those two words. It doesn’t take a lot to be creatively inspired. You just have to know where to look.

Sleep on it.

Since coming to college I’ve realized one thing — sleep can solve anything. 

Letting your body rest — and I mean rest, like sleeping with no alarm and just letting your body’s clock do the work — is the easiest way to revive yourself. 

Obviously, as college students, we don’t have that luxury often. You have to work with what you’ve got. If you’re stuck in writer’s block, sometimes accepting that fact and letting your brain and body rest can do a lot more than you’d believe. 

I find spending a day over the weekend or an afternoon doing nothing helps revive my brain. I’ll probably spend the whole day mindlessly watching Netflix until I’m tired. After a good night’s sleep, I wake up the next morning refreshed and ready to write. 

Whatever you’re trying to write, one of these three methods is guaranteed to get you out of your writer’s block. Good luck!

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