AfriGeneas Writers Forum
Writers Block ?
Posted in the Questia Newsletter
Norman Mailer reportedly said that writer's block "is simply a failure of ego." But experts say there are other reasons behind this frustrating condition.
• Choose a particular aspect of the topic you are interested in (if the writing situation will allow it...i.e. if the goal of your writing can be adjusted and is not given to you specifically, or if the teacher or project coordinator will allow it).
• Talk to a tutor about how you can personalize a topic to make it more interesting.
• Resign yourself to the fact that you have to write.
• Find out what is expected of you (consult a teacher, textbook, student, tutor, or project coordinator).
• Look at some of the strategies for writing anxiety listed below.
• Focus your energy by rehearsing the task in your head.
• Consciously stop the non-productive comments running through your head by replacing them with productive ones.
• If you have some "rituals" for writing success (chewing gum, listening to jazz etc.), use them.
• Stretch! If you can't stand up, stretch as many muscle groups as possible while staying seated.
• Try tensing and releasing various muscle groups. Starting from your toes, tense up for perhaps five to ten seconds and then let go. Relax and then go on to another muscle group.
• Breathe deeply. Close your eyes; then, fill your chest cavity slowly by taking four of five short deep breaths. Hold each breath until it hurts, and then let it out slowly.
• Use a calming word or mental image to focus on while relaxing. If you choose a word, be careful not to use an imperative. Don't command yourself to "Calm down!" or "Relax!"
• Talk over the subject with a friend or tutor.
• Assure yourself that the first draft doesn't have to be a work of genius, it is something to work with.
• Force yourself to write down something, however poorly worded, that approximates your thought (you can revise this later) and go on with the next idea.
• Break the task up into steps. Meet the general purpose first, and then flesh out the more specific aspects later.