Are you experiencing the writer’s block?
Writing is an important part of researchers’ life as they spend a great deal of time in their academic careers writing essays, research papers, assignments or thesis. People who set foot in the field of academic research, or for that matter, anyone who attempts to articulate ideas through the written word, encounter the writer’s block at some point or the other. While there is no doubt that this is a psychological phenomena, or as most would say “It is all in your mind”, one cannot deny that more often than not, the writer’s block transforms into an almost physical entity, an unscalable barrier which stands tall and strong before the writer, blocking all thoughts and ideas from manifesting into words on the paper.
There is a host of reasons why writer’s block could occur and hidden among these reasons are the different things that one can do to shatter the block as well. Here are some ideas that can be handy as you begin to feel you are hitting the roadblock while writing.
Forget the fear
One of the main reasons young researchers cannot write consistently is the fear of critique. Most are petrified at the thought of sharing their essay with anyone and this fear of being criticized keeps them from writing anything at all.
This can be addressed by setting a deadline and forcing yourself to finish writing within the deadline. You can even ask one of your peers, or even your guide, to keep a tab on the deadline, or even better, to demand the work to be turned in on time. This could help in many ways than one, as gets you to write something or ‘anything’ at any cost, puts you into the habit of finishing work on time and helps you understand the value of showing your work to others for a review and improving your writing.
Filter the ideas
Sometimes, having more information or knowledge than what is necessary also causes the writers’ block. It can be overwhelming to write anything when there are a thousand ideas jostling for space in your head and trying to find a way out as written words. This not only makes you spend a lot of time pondering over the same matter, but it also slows down the writing process.
The only way to vanquish this problem is to limit the scope of what you are writing about. You might have a thorough understanding of your field of research, but try to avoid the number of variables you consider for an academic venture, like say a research paper. Besides making it simpler for you to articulate your ideas, this trick will help you arrive at a clear conclusion. So make sure you trim off the excess and declutter, so there is always space for understanding.
Fill the gap
In contrast to the previous tip, a lack of proper understanding of the matter at hand also blocks the flow of writing. This usually happens when you are working on something you are not entirely sure about, something that is novel or something you are not interested in. In any case, lack of knowledge only results in half-formed ideas and your write up would end up looking like a sieve which makes your lack of understanding apparent.
The only way of overcoming this is to gain a deeper understanding of the subject, either by reading, discussing with the peers or professors or by any other means. Writing even a hundred pages of an essay with glaring gaps in understanding will still be incomplete. Only clear understanding can ease the flow of writing, especially academic content.
Writing is a process where abstract and unformed ideas are collected a shaped as written words and this requires immense concentration. Good writing cannot happen when the thought flow is frequently disrupted, thereby scattering the thought process. Anything, be it people stopping by to wish you, an event in the family or even the various notifications on your phone could distract you.
This could be addressed by picking a place to work where you will not be disturbed by anyone or anything, working at a library is an ideal place to work compared to your drawing room, as it will keep unwanted chatter at bay. See what works for you. Draw out a daily work schedule and stick to it, doing nothing but writing work during the scheduled time slot. Keep your mobile phone out of reach when you write so you do are not tempted to check a notification or to text a friend. Further, trying not have your computer connected to the internet while you write could save you a lot of time spent browsing aimlessly.
Writing block is largely a mental construct and the above tips can only help when you are determined to carry on with your writing come what may. We hope you have a very happy writing experience.
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