1. Seek out inspiration. Don’t just stare at a blank page. Read, draw, go for a walk, listen to music, all while keeping the topic in the back of your mind (special thanks to Jen and Rachel via Facebook).

  2. Plan ahead. Don’t save your writing assignments for the last possible minute. Read the prompt several days before it’s due to give yourself time to be inspired.

  3. Outline. Map out the points you want to make before you start to write. Putting the outline together will help you get focused. It will also be a valuable reference once you begin to write, making the process more efficient.

  4. Eliminate distractions. Set up a quiet and clutter-free space, and turn off your phone, TV, etc.

  5. Write about something else. Build your confidence by journaling. Saying you have full-out writer’s block is a confidence buster—you are probably just in the process of forming your thoughts about the assigned topic. Journaling is a great technique to open your mind. It is also a great way to continually practicing the craft of writing. 

  6. Get physical. Do some jumping jacks or push-ups to get your blood pumping and creative juices flowing. 

  7. Start in the middle. Sometimes starting at the beginning can cause “perfect draft syndrome.” Instead, start with the meat of the content in the middle of the essay. Once that is complete, you may find it easier to form the introduction and conclusion.

  8. Reread your past work. What better inspiration than reading over old papers you got great grades on? Have papers with not so good grades? That’s OK, too! Use the feedback you received as guidelines for improvement.