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Overcoming ‘Essay Block’

A Picture of Caitlin R

Writing essays is hard at the best of times, but we all have those moments where no matter how hard we try or how well we know the topic we just can’t think what to write or how to write it. This ‘essay block’ usually goes away naturally, but waiting isn’t always an option when deadlines are looming. Here are my top tips for overcoming writer’s block.

Go Outside

When I’ve been staring at the same page for hours without getting anywhere, I always find it helpful to go outside. Newcastle has wonderful outdoor spaces like Jesmond Dene and Quayside, so try going for a walk or run to clear your mind. If the weather’s good you can bring books and study outside but I find most ideas come to me when I’m focusing on my surroundings.

Clean Your Room

There’s a fine line between taking a break to clear your mind and simply procrastinating but as long as you don’t find yourself avoiding your work altogether, cleaning your work space/room is another great way to clear your mind and allow ideas to come to you naturally.

Work on Something Else

It took me a while to get over how counter-productive this sounds, but when I’m struggling to write an essay for Geography I find that spending some time working on my Japanese can really help. Completing an easier task like reading or notes for another module can give you a sense of accomplishment and it’s always helpful to take a break and do something different when you’ve been working on one subject for a long time.

Cook Something

Thanks to energy drinks and sweets we can ‘work’ for hours without having to really eat or sleep. Although it can seem counter-productive again, I recommend taking time out to make a proper meal. It doesn’t have to be full of super-foods – just making your favourite meal or dinner with friends will let your relax for a while and give you more energy to focus on your essay.

Overall, my top advice is when you’re stuck, do something different, no matter how counter-productive it may seem!

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