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by Sam | Writing Center Consultant | May 14, 2019

Writing consultants at the Writing Center have come across writers who have no idea where to begin in the writing process. Some writers are intimidated by an assignment, or they don’t know what topic to write about. These situations often cause writers to develop the dreaded writer’s block, which happens to us all. Starting the writing process can be difficult for writers of all level, so you should not worry! Here are some tips that I have learned throughout the years that have helped to eliminate my writer’s block:


  1. Throw away the outline. Yes, you read that correctly. Often times when you have an outline, you feel forced to stick to the ideas we wrote down. This can often shut down creativity to a new idea that may come along while you write


  2. Think of that “wow” moment in class. This is the time that you could not stop thinking about what one person or a professor said in class. This can be something that helped you to better understand the reading or helped you to connect plot points.


  3. While walking to class, walking your dog, or walking to dinner, think of what you talked about in class. Having the topic assignment on the brain throughout the day may help to think of something.
                 Pro tip: Keep a notebook by your bed; you never know when an idea may come up.


  4. Write something else. Whether it is a poem or a short story, this may help you to find a creative way to get started on your writing.


  5. Read something. Find something to read that you can relate back to your assignment (it can be a blog post, Facebook post, or a news article). This can help you to think of what to write or another way you can connect it to the assignment.


  6. Talk with a classmate. Ask them what they are writing about and how they came up with the idea. Learning about their thought process may help you to come up with an idea. While talking with a classmate you can also bounce ideas off of each other.


  7. Create a mind map. A mind map is when you have a main idea in the center and branch out with smaller points. This will help you to connect smaller ideas to the larger assignment idea.


  8. Write badly. Even if you have no idea what to write, start writing. You may not have the best idea now, but writing may help you to get ideas flowing.


  9. Think of a creative title. This may help you to come up with an idea for an assignment.


  10. Visit the Writing Center. We are here to help you get the writing process started.