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Three Proven Ways to Handle Your Writing Anxiety

Writing anxiety and writing block are informal terms that are used to denote pessimistic and anxious feeling about writing. Researches showed that the majority of students exhibit unusually strong apprehension about writing. This debilitating condition forces students to avoid majors, jobs, and courses that require writing.

In fact, having some level of writing anxiety can help you concentrate, really your thoughts together, and devote all of them to writing. However, in excessive quantities it can become a hindrance; here is where the actual problem lies.

Some experienced writers claim that this feeling has the situational character and is not pervasive in person’s writing life. Others say that writing block and anxiety show up only during our most stressful deadline-driven periods, and stay until we find the way to show them the door.

Writing anxiety encroaches upon a writer, who doesn’t know what to write about, or simply doesn’t know where to start writing, and is usually accompanied by (1) continuous procrastination of the writing tasks, (2) becoming nervous because of the impossibility to write anything at all, (3) quickening heartbeat, and sweaty palms.

All in all, every writer, at least once in his life, experiences moments, which create anxiety. Surely, there is a great deal of variations among individuals; however, there are some common experiences that writers can find stressful.

Writing anxiety can be a result of a great variety of social, academic, and personal factors. Some of them are:

• Writing for readers that have previously been overly critical and demanding to the writer’s work.
• Working in limited or unstructured time.
• Adjusting to the new forms of writing that causes some troubles to the writer.
• Being preoccupied with college life and social issues.
• Professors that may seem intimidating and relentless.
• Fear to failure.

Such circumstances can increase the stress level of the writer and become an awful distraction. The good news is that there are ways to restore writing equilibrium and get down to writing. Here are some practical steps to help writers unlock their writing talents.

I. Brainstorming and organizing your ideas

Brainstorming and organizing your ideas are as important as the process of actual writing. As a matter of fact, it provides a guaranteed solution to overcome the writer’s block. This strategy is very simple.

You begin with a blank sheet of paper or a computer screen. You write your topic at the top, and, then, write everything you can about it. While brainstorming different ideas, you don’t care about grammar and editing, you simply brainstorm various approaches to the subject matter under consideration.

When you are completely out of ideas, you look at the list of the jotted ideas, and reconsider your topic, cutting down the ideas that stray away from it.

Then, you organize these ideas and find the central idea that gives a decent place to start the first draft, and states an essential truth about your topic. Since you have found the leading idea, try to arrange all the other points in the logical order that you’ll use in your essay.

II. Free writing

Free writing is one of the best ways around the writer’s block. Free writing is a non-stop writing designed to uncover ideas that has no rules and forms to follow. Focused free writing involves writing on a particular topic as a means to discover what you already know or think about it. It helps you write when you don’t feel like writing, loosens you up and gets you moving.

You write down the topic at the top of the page. Then, you set your clock for five or ten minutes, and put your pen to paper. The main idea is to write for a short, specified period of time, keeping your hand moving until your time is up. Remember that you are not allowed to stop, even if you have nothing to say, write first that occurs to your mind in the act of writing. And one more thing to remember is that you don’t form any judgments about what you are writing. When the time is up, you go back over the text, and identify ideas that should carry over your text.

III. Clustering

Like brainstorming and free associating, clustering allows you to start writing without any clear ideas. To begin to cluster choose the word, which is central to your assignment, write this word at the middle of the paper. All around it place the words that occur to you when you think about this word. In such a way you write down all the words that you associate with this concrete word. You write it quickly, circling each word, grouping them around your central word, and connecting the new words to the previous ones.

Clustering doesn’t have to be logically built and well-structured; it allows you to explore new insights without committing them to a particular order.

Hope that these options will help you handle your writing anxiety and forget about this mental deadlock once and for all!

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