How to overcome some of the most common writing obstacles

Whether you’re a budding journalist or taking an English creative writing course, you will be well aware of the various obstacles that plague writers. From the dreaded writer’s block to struggling with remembering grammar rules, being a writer or creative author is no mean feat. Whether you want help with your coursework or are preparing a draft of your first book, here are some tips to overcoming some of the most common challenges.

Writer’s block

There are several reasons why a writer of any level, might suffer from writer’s block. Typically it can be caused by distractions such as stress, events in the writer’s life, pressure from deadlines or exams, or just a momentary lapse in inspiration. It can also be caused by mental health issues like depression or anxiety. Others say there is no reason for it, and that writer’s block just pops up when it feels like it, usually just before an important piece is due! There are several tried and tested ways to help relieve it such as exercising for 30 minutes, taking a shower, reading something by someone you inspire, or even taking a nap. Of course, if it’s something significant causing the issue, you will need to address that before your creativity returns!

Adapting to different writing styles

As a student, you will have to adopt and adapt to different kinds of writing. You may need to write reports, analyses, critiques, opinion pieces, and even creative writing articles. Depending on the subjects you are studying, this could include a multitude of different writing styles, all of which need to be off a high standard.  This can be very challenging as each style is very different. A good way of dealing with these challenges is by getting help through English tuition. Typically, the tutor will help you to identify your goals and aims, and then set various milestones that you work towards. They can impart professional advice and points to help you switch between styles effortlessly. It’s totally possible to learn to write in different ways, you just need to understand the core structures of each.

Grammatical issues

Grammar is hard in any language and English is no exception. We tend to pick up lots of bad habits in our day-to-day life which often translate into our writing. Bad grammar can really impact the power of your work and cost you important marks in exams. There are several ways to tackle this. Firstly, reading can seriously help you improve your grammar skills. By reading grammatically correct texts, your brain will pick up on the patterns and structures, enabling you to implement them automatically. It’s also useful to have a grammar manual hanging around so you can consult it when you are working. Some find that it’s also beneficial to listen to audiobooks and courses that discuss grammar. Listen while you are preparing dinner or undertaking other tasks and marvel as the information sticks!

Lack of confidence

As a student, you might be suffering from a lack of confidence in your written pieces. The best way to overcome this is to throw yourself in at the deep end. You should try and see if there are any local or university media that would publish your work. Alternatively, you could set up a blog and share your work with the wide world. This might sound utterly terrifying, but holding yourself to account like this and accepting any criticism that comes your way is the best way to learn. The positive feedback you receive and the joy of seeing your name online, or in print will help your confidence grow exponentially.

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