Has your child ever been in the middle of their composition when suddenly, their mind goes blank and they can’t think of what to write next? If they are in the middle of an examination, the situation becomes even more distressing.
Writer’s block is a psychological inhibition that prevents a writer from proceeding with writing their piece. The exact cause of writer’s block is unknown, but some possible causes of writer’s block could be due to fear, self-criticism or external pressure. So what can your child do to get over the writer’s block, especially when they have an assignment due or during an exam? Here are some helpful tips!
Ways to overcome writer’s block
Study the composition question
Don’t jump straight into writing – plan the story first! In order to plan their story well, your child should take a few minutes to study the composition question carefully. They should look at the important keywords and prompting questions, and select a picture which they are confident that they can come up with a good storyline for.
Create an outline
Plan the story with an outline. Having a clear outline helps your child keep track of their storyline and the general direction in which their story will go in. The outline should contain a beginning, middle and end. When your child is clear on the direction they want their story to go, it will be easier for them to flesh out their composition with the plot details.
Progress, not perfection
To take some of the pressure off, remind your child that the current aim is to make progress in their writing. Their words do not have to be perfect as they can always go back and edit them. As long as they are writing, they are making progress. So after they are done with their planning, they should start writing immediately.
It is also important for your child to work on their time management skills before they even sit for their exams. Knowing which part of the story to prioritise and how much time to spend on it will definitely help lower their stress and anxiety levels. That’s where their composition plan comes in, so they know how much time they need in order to complete their writing.
If your child habitually practises all of the above before their exams, it can help stave off the writer’s block during their actual paper.
Making writing a regular part of your child’s routine can also help them combat any fears of writing. That is why at TWC, we encourage our students to write journal entries weekly. With a habit of writing, ideas flow much easily to them too and they can exercise their creativity. You can also try practising the Pomodoro Technique with your child. This technique is useful when it comes to distractions during their writing, and can be applied to activities beyond writing as well.
At TWC, our teachers coach our students to analyse and strategise for their compositions, which helps them to overcome any writer’s block during their examinations. Find out more about our Writing Enrichment programme here, or visit us at any of our centres to speak with us and view our worksheet samples.
Collins, Bryan. 2022. "The Pomodoro Technique Explained". Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bryancollinseurope/2020/03/03/the-pomodoro-technique/?sh=3d4dc9df3985.
Lachs, Jennifer. 2018. "The Psychology Of Writer’s Block (And How To Overcome It)". https://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/psychology-writers-block-overcome/.
"R.L. Stine’s 6 Tips For Overcoming Writer’s Block". 2021. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/rl-stines-tips-for-overcoming-writers-block.
"Writer’s Block For Students: The 3-Step Cure". 2022. https://writeivy.com/writers-block-for-students-the-3-step-cure/.