Overcoming Writer’s Block – 7 Methods That WorkWritten by Associated Content
Writer’s block is something most writers have to deal with at one time or another. It can be quite daunting staring at a blank piece of paper or a blank computer screen, not knowing what to say. Presented here are seven methods for overcoming writer’s block that will help you to get unstuck as a writer.
May writer’s develop writer’s block when they feel unprepared. The feeling of not knowing what to say can be pretty overwhelming. You can combat these feelings by doing some research on subject that you’re writing about, so that you do, in fact have something to say on subject. Doing online or offline research is a great way to arm yourself with facts, thoughts and opinions on whatever you’re intending to write about, even if you intend on writing next “Great American Novel.”
Brainstorming is a great way to tackle writer’s block. Instead of staring at a blank space, use that space to write down peripheral words and ideas that are both on subject and off subject of what you’re intending to write about. Don’t edit yourself. Just have fun coming up with all sorts of ideas that may only loosely relate to what you want to write. Don’t pressure yourself to use these ideas in your writing. Use brainstorming simply as a writing exercise that will help you loosen and get you kick started.
Taking an exercise break is an excellent way to combat writer’s block. Exercise helps get blood flowing and helps body and mind to relax. Relaxation is what you’re looking for if you’re experiencing writer’s block. Take a break to hit treadmill, go to gym or take a long walk. Don’t be concerned that time away from writing is wasted time. Your taking time not away from writing but from not writing. This is a healthy choice that will help you rejuvenate personally and as a writer.
Write About Having Writer’s Block
When you’re staring at a blank piece of paper or a blank computer screen, many writers become intimidated and freeze up. “I don’t have anything to say,” is often bemoaned. But you do have something to say. If you practice your Zen and stay in moment, you’ll write about what is happening right now. Write about having writers block. Write about what it feels like to stare at blankness and have nothing to say. Write about feeling frozen, scared, intimidated, pressured or whatever else you’re feeling. Also, save this piece of writing for later as you can use it for reference and add to it next time you have writer’s block.
The Office WriterWritten by Peter B. Mann
So you’ve been hired as an assistant editor. That means you'll be doing a lot of writing. Maybe you will be named editor of company newsletter, but you are likely to be writing newsletter. Or maybe you will be writing news releases, reports, speeches, or simply memoranda. Whatever assignment, main thing to remember is that you have to communicate. To communicate most effectively, keep your writing simple, straightforward, and easy to understand. Never use two words where one will do. Use short sentences. Avoid dense text by using bulleted lists, brief paragraphs, and subheadings. Give readers your full attention; always put yourself in their place and keep your writing conversational. Read it aloud -- or at least mouth words -- to verify that it is conversational. If your readers can simply go with flow, they are most likely to catch your meaning and remain interested. Remember, writing should never get in way of communication. The Heading The title should be interesting and informative. It should let your readers know what you are writing about -- and why that is important to them. In some cases, title is merely part of heading. A memorandum, for example, will usually have a heading that is standard for company or organization. It will include this information: To: (the recipients) From: (the official or department) Subject: (the title) Date: (the date of issue) In other cases -- for example, articles in company newsletter -- title will be a headline, choice words drawn from opening paragraph and fitting into a snug space on printed page. If document is part of a series, heading will indicate that. For example: The Primary Concern, Fifth in a Series; or Insight No. 7: The Primary Concern. Subheadings If an article is lengthy -- that is, a full page or multiple pages -- use subheads to break it into readable segments. Unless content dictates otherwise, there should be no more than two subheads on an 8 ½” x 11” page of double-spaced copy. Usually, a subhead will consist of few words and won't take a full line; it should grab reader’s attention and reveal something about subsequent material. The Paragraph A paragraph should consist of a few sentences related to same subject matter. In general, a paragraph should contain between 150 and 200 words. If it must be longer, look for ways to break it up. For example, if it contains a series -- James collected Rolling Stones CDs, DVDs, and concert posters -- change it to a bulleted list. James collected Rolling Stones: *CDs *DVDs *Concert posters Doing so adds “air” to page, diminishing density of type. It makes page an easier, quicker read. Style note: There is disagreement about proper punctuation for this bulleted list. A particular style is not sacrosanct, however. The important thing is to adopt a style and use it consistently. The Sentence The sentence is basic building block of every written product, whether it is a memo; a book review; a press release; a news article; or a feature story. So it is in constructing individual sentence that writer establishes an article's readability and interest level. Here are some guidelines for ensuring it will score high on those scales: *The sentence should be concise. *It should be simple and straightforward. *It should flow conversationally. *The reader should be pulled by flow. There are two essential elements in a sentence: subject (a noun or pronoun) and predicate (a verb, one word or several words that tell what action subject is taking or has taken).Most sentences also contain articles (a, an, the) and modifiers (adjectives, adverbs). An adjective modifies a noun; it is a word or phrase that names or describes an attribute of noun. For example: blue room, tall woman, balding man, once and future king. An adverb, on other hand, modifies a verb. It is a word or phrase that expresses time, place, cause, manner, or degree. For example, he read slowly, she spoke articulately. Adverbs may also modify adjectives, other adverbs, or adverbial phrases. Frequently, a sentence will include a prepositional phrase. A preposition is a brief word (of, for, by, at, to, under, over) that introduces a phrase modifying a noun, verb, or clause. Every prepositional phrase has its own object. For example, to movies, under bridge, after a few minutes, across lake. Note: “Concise” is not a synonym for “brief.” A long article may consist of concise writing. The test is whether every word is necessary. Check each word in a sentence; does it clarify or add meaning, or is it superfluous? If all superfluous words are eliminated, writing is concise. Brevity, of course, is desirable, too. If writing is concise, article is likely to be as brief as subject matter allows. Punctuation *The period (.) marks end of a sentence; it also separates elements of an Internet site name [the “dot” in “dot com”]. *The comma (,) separates items in a series; divides a compound sentence; sets off interjected material; with a small conjunction (but, for, and), connects two independent clauses; sets off introductory phrases; sets off name of larger geographical entity when citing city, state, or province, nation; separates discrete adjectives (“short, stocky fellow”). *The colon ( : ) follows a phrase that introduces a list; follows an independent clause that introduces an explanation; follows salutation in a business letter; separates an independent clause from a quotation it introduces; in a script, separates speaker’s name from his/her speech. Note: If clause following a colon is a complete sentence, it should begin with a capital letter. *The semicolon (;) separates two complete thoughts; separates items in a series if one or more of them contain a comma; *Quotation marks (“ “) begin and end quoted material; enclose titles of lesser works, such as chapters and episodes (for titles of books, television programs, and films, use italics); serve as a symbol for inches. *Quotation marks (’’) begin and end quoted material within quoted material; serve as a symbol for feet. *Question mark (?) at end of a direct question. *Parentheses ( ) begin and end interjected material, as well as references and other information that is related to but not suitable for main text. *Brackets [ ] set off parenthetical material that occurs within parentheses. Capitalization In headlines: Choose an “up” or “down” style and stick with it. The “up” style: Capitalize all words in headline except articles and prepositions that are no longer than four letters. The “down” style: Capitalize only first word of headline and any proper nouns that appear in it.