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Overcoming Writer’s Block

What should you do when your mind goes blank?
You just can’t get started on a document you have to write.
Here are some tips to help you conquer the common obstacle of “writer’s block”:   

Talk it out—to yourself or a trusted colleague. Make yourself answer these four questions:

  • What’s the point of the document? What do you hope to accomplish?
  • Who exactly is your audience?
  • About how long should the document be?
  • What key points have to be included?

Write an informal list of the key points –nothing fancy, but capture the words so you won’t forget them. A list also helps you break the task into chunks and make it manageable.

Stuck on the first line? Start somewhere else. Beginning in the middle should get the juices flowing—and you’ll then find other parts easier to write.

Compose in chunks. A large task is more manageable if you break it down and deal with one part at a time.

Type your draft. It’s much faster and more efficient than writing longhand. Double space and leave wide margins.  Then print it out to see the whole piece before you edit.

Produce the rough draft without regard to details of wording, sentence structure, or grammar. The idea is to get a rough draft on the page. Drafting is one process, editing another. Save the editing for later.

 

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Unless otherwise attributed, all material is written and edited by Susan B. Kline. Copyright © Susan B. Kline 2011. All Rights Reserved. I invite you to reprint material from this website for educational purposes, provided this copyright notice ("Written and edited by Susan B. Kline, © Susan B. Kline [year]. All Rights Reserved.") and a link to sbkline.com is included in the credits.

 

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