With midterm season in full force, the demand for content heavy essays has never been higher. Unfortunately this also means that many students will suffer from writer’s block and procrastination. Here are 10 tips to help defeat that monster that prevents you from finishing your paper.
Plan what you are going to write about.
Plan generic topics that you wish to cover. This will help break apart your content so you can focus on multiple questions and your objectives.
Write what you’re thinking.
Stop worrying about concrete content that sounds formal. Odds are, the more formal your content is, the less interested your readers will be. Write the first thing that comes to your head and edit the content later.
Play music you don’t know.
Playing music you know the words to is distracting. Instead of playing your favorite playlists, search for music that you don’t listen to. If you only like one genre or artist, look up remixes or cover songs. This strategy will help you get out of your comfort zone.
Stop writing. Do something else.
Often times when I am having issues with writing, I separate myself from the project completely. This doesn’t mean I’ll start browsing social media to see what my friends are doing. A great way to separate yourself completely is to go shopping or run some errands. Once you’ve stopped thinking about something for a while, you’ll be able to think differently about your subject.
Work on multiple projects.
Multitasking may sound dangerous, and some think it’s distracting, but it could help. As long as you are staying efficient, multitasking can actually benefit you. This strategy can also help you separate yourself from the project. This doesn’t mean you should watch your favorite TV show or be talking to your friend as you’re writing. Focus on multiple things you need to be doing versus focusing on things you would like to be doing.
Write out of order.
Start writing in the middle of your paper. Thinking about your introduction could end up being the hardest part.
Break it down into smaller projects.
Think about each paragraph or topic as a separate project. This will help you feel like you’ve accomplished more during your writing process versus always feeling overwhelmed.
Write in a different place.
Try writing in a coffee shop, on the 3rd floor of the University Union, in a bookstore. Anything to help separate you from your comfort zone will help you focus.
Stop writing for your audience. Write for you, then revise.
Stop focusing on the fancy wording. No need to spend 30 minutes using a thesaurus. Keep it simple and keep it short. Most readers will be able to tell if you’re fluffing up your content.
Steal ideas, not words.
Some of the most creative ideas and content comes from ideas that are already previously written. This doesn’t mean you should copy content from others, but use them as a guide. This strategy can help you think of creative metaphors to use or introduce other ways to explain things.