Overcoming Writer’s Block

Struggling with your Master’s dissertation? There are some days where no matter how hard you try, you just can’t think of anything to write. Unfortunately, days like these are inevitable and it happens to the best of us. We know we have a lot to write, we even have a vague idea of what to write but yet when it comes to typing what we have in our mind; we find ourselves facing a blank. So, the real question is what do we do when writer’s block hits us? Here are some of the best ways to overcome it…

Read articles (the more, the better)

If you are already at the stage of writing your dissertation, then the chances are that you have previously done a fair share of reading. Nevertheless, I would advise you to read articles, journals, books and even go through interviews that have been released on the topic that you are discussing in your dissertation. In doing so, you might come across new information that you have not talked about yet or you will develop a better, all-rounded understanding of your dissertation topic. Either way, you may find yourself writing about something that you would have otherwise missed. This will help you continue writing and may even take your dissertation in a better direction.

Jot down phrases or notes that you think might be useful

Let’s assume you are already reading articles and continuing the research on your topic, but still have nothing to talk about. If you are in this situation then I would advise reading articles on the topics you have discussed and jot down notes or highlight sections from the articles that you find particularly interesting. In doing so, you will find yourself being introduced to different explanations of concepts and this can be very helpful when it comes to spotting any misconceptions you may have and help you understand your topic more.

It may be the case that the reason you are suffering from writer’s block is because there are some misconceptions which are in turn, making you confused and preventing you from moving forward with your writing.

Edit what you have already written

In my opinion, this is the best way to overcome writer’s block. By editing what you have already written, you will be able to come across places where you could have re-worded sentences better and this will help your brain warm-up and you may find yourself getting back in the flow and writing from where you left off.

Try freewriting

Freewriting is a technique that quite literally forces you to put words on the screen. Set a time, ten or fifteen minutes to start with. Then just write. Don’t stop to edit, don’t delete typos – it doesn’t matter if the sentences make sense or if your grammar is atrocious. To begin with you might just be rehashing what you’ve already written, as there’s nothing else in your head. This is fine. Once the timer goes off, read back what you’ve written, take a short break and try again. Eventually, you should get back into the flow of writing and be right on track to finishing that dissertation!

The main aim you should have when the writer’s block hits is to not stop. Continue reading, researching and writing. By doing this, you will naturally find the next topics to talk about. As a result you’ll overcome that deadly writer’s block!

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