by Becca Betty
A new semester is here and Spring is right around the corner, prompting thoughts of fresh beginnings and launching us into new aspirations for 2023. However, as students and writers we can sometimes encounter difficulty in facing down these new beginnings, many times coined as the phrase “experiencing writer’s block.” Over the next few weeks, this blog will be posting some tips on getting started and adapting our mental frameworks to overcome common stress-points while writing. The advice that follows is drawn from my own experience as a student and writer and is by no means an exhaustive list but rather a starting point from which you may form your own systems for combatting rhetorical clogs in your critical thinking process.
To start off with, content is king. A deep understanding of the materials you are working with will form the basis of a strong argument. So, you’ve read, listened to, watched, or otherwise consumed your media of interest and sit down to write out your assignment and …nothing happens. Hurdle number one: the thoughts aren’t coming. My advice is to stand back up and take a step back from the assignment to give your mind time to process the new information it has just consumed. Processing new knowledge takes time, a luxury we don’t often afford ourselves as students with approaching deadlines, but even giving your mind a five-minute break before returning to the task at hand could give you the extra push you need to get started. This is kind of the biological equivalent of the technological standard “have you tried turning it off then turning it back on again?”
The Millersville’s Writing Center (https://www.millersville.edu/enwl/writing-center/ ) can help you with this and more. Tune in next week as we continue this series and best of luck with your upcoming third week of class!