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Fend off Writer’s Block

The writer stares at his computer screen, types a sentence or two, decides he doesn’t like what he’s written and starts over again. And again. And again. And again. The assignment is due soon, but nothing seems to click.

Sound familiar?

Sooner or later, anyone whose job involves a great deal of writing encounters writer’s block.  By following the steps listed below, however, you can minimize the chances of its occurrence:

Don’t set out to write a masterpiece
Remember that your primary purpose is simply to provide useful, understandable information. Sometimes it’s best not to even think about style until you have a rough draft that contains all the essential information.

Get a first draft completed…PDQ!
Give yourself a very small amount of time – an hour at the most, preferably 20 minutes or less – to knock out a first draft.

Don’t worry about writing a snappy lead, don’t worry about organization, don’t worry about typos or sentence fragments; just throw every bit of information you have into the rough draft.

What you’ll have then is something tangible to tinker with, rather than just a tangled mass of thoughts inside your head.

Avoid trying to do it all in one sitting
Have you ever just flailed away at a project for hours until your brain finally went numb?

Sometimes, short notice deadlines require such effort. In most cases, though, if you get an early enough start, you can spread the work over several smaller sessions.

In the intervals between work sessions, your subconscious mind will generate ideas and you’ll have a fresh perspective each time you return to the project.

Written by Richard Buse (http://www.workingwriters.org/memberpages/buse/), an independent writer in Waxahachie, Texas.

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