5 Tips On How To Overcome Writer’s Block?

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All writers have blocks and so do you. Here are 5 tips on how you can overcome those blocks.



1. If you are writing your thesis now, this means that you are at your last stage of getting a degree. Looking at your previous works you completed successfully can pump you up with some positive attitude. If you feel stuck read one of your impressive works to remind yourself of your potential.

2. One of my professors said to me once “You know, Vladimir, I hate to write, but I love to edit”. Take a lesson from this statement. Don’t bother with wrong spelling, grammar and so on. When you write let the words flow out and just try to keep up with what comes out. It is always good to get a timer and time your writing, for let’s say 30 minutes. Don’t Stop. Just write!

3. Have you ever wondered why it is easier to write a letter than an academic paper? In case you don’t know, the former is much more ‘natural’ i.e. you write in your own voice or language. Imagine being able to write your thesis at the same speed as you write your emails. So, the trick is this: try to think of your paper as though an email. You can always go back and revise.

4. Mindmapping. Whatever you write about use mindmaps. Mindmaps are powerful in the sense that you let your brain function in a non-linear way. This is how your brains functions best. Get a paper or a mindmapping software (e.g. mindmeister.com you can read my blog post here and let all your ideas flow out more naturally. It is always easier to take those ideas and make a ’story’ out of it later on.

5. Voice Recorder. Here is what I do to develop my ideas and I strongly think that you should do the same because it works well. Get your friend or spouse, take a recorder and tell your friend/spouse what you want to write about. While you talk and explain, keep the voice recorder on so that you can use that recorded data afterwards and transcribe it. After you’ve transcribed everything revise, revise and revise!

Feel free to leave me your comments or if you have used one of those approaches to remove your writer’s block.

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3 Responses to “5 Tips On How To Overcome Writer’s Block?”

  1. Venilla@Vennila Rajaguru PushpanathanNo Gravatar says:

    October 8th, 2008 at 2:08 am

    The best way to tackle writer’s block, in my experience as a freelance writer, research journalist and academic is i. not to procrastinate (sometime it’s so very tempting to do so), and ii. to just write anything that is related to your topic/subject, and then edit or cut & paste it to make a coherent piece.


  2. VladimirChenNo Gravatar says:

    October 8th, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Yes, Vennila, you are right on the procrastination point. Do you know a book “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield (I partly quoted him in this post http://www.vladimirchen.com/excuses-excuses-excuses/50/). Steven talks a lot about procrastination as one of the writer’s block.

    Paraphrasing him, as I mentioned in one of my audio lessons, “it does not matter how much I wrote, but what matters is that today I gave all my effort to sit and write” … that kind of attitude overcomes any kind of block.

    Here is the link to his book on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/War-Art-Through-Creative-Battles/dp/0446691437

  3. VladimirChenNo Gravatar says:

    October 11th, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Btw, Venilla, check out the link “End Procrastination” under the “Top Site of October” on the right side of the Blog. The article discusses 5 ways to end procrastination. It also presents interesting findings about procrastination.

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