Dealing with Writer's Block

Most writers must deal with writer’s block at some point during the writing process. These tips may help you deal with this seemingly insurmountable obstacle:

1. Keep writing. 

You may not be writing anything you’ll want to use in your dissertation, but continuing to write will help you maintain your schedule and discipline. Such writings might take the form of free-writing sessions where your reconceptualize, redefine, or clarify some of your research questions. 

2. It also helps to think of tasks in small components. 

Tell yourself, for example, that you will fill in the biographical data on a major figure in chapter three instead of telling yourself that you will finish chapter three. Accomplishing small goals helps you stay motivated. 

3. A huge help in dealing with writer’s block can be a dissertation writing group. 

Sharing your experience, setting deadlines, and brainstorming with others is an invaluable means of overcoming writer’s block. The CGU Writing Center already offers a dissertation writing group, but you may want to set up one of your own with people you know you work well with. Alternatively, you may want to visit the Writing Center and talk over your writing troubles. Consultants can give you ideas on getting started again and may jump-start your thinking on a concept in your work.


Writing Center • 141 East Twelfth Street, Claremont, CA 91711 • 909-607-0012

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