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Getting unstuck

So far, we’ve covered the basics of good writing and looked at some examples. But if you’re feeling stuck on the writing itself, you may need a little push in the right direction. Here are a few things to try:

Be patient. The hardest part of writing is waiting for the right words to come to mind. Keep at it. Stay in your chair, and be kind to yourself as you work through drafts. Don’t try to write and edit at the same time. The first draft is usually the most painful, but don’t be discouraged by that. Writing is a process, and like anything worth doing, it takes time.

Switch it up. Depending on what you’re writing, it may be easier to start on one piece than another. If you’re stuck, try switching over to a different page or section. You can also try talking it out with a friend. You don’t have to go in order. In fact, we usually save the introduction for last.

Clear your head. If your brain isn’t cooperating, take a walk or try writing in a different environment. Give yourself time to think it through before you force words onto the page. Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery.

Read edited text. Reading is the best way to get better at writing. Study other people’s work. Books and magazines can expand your vocabulary and help you develop an ear for strong sentences. As you read, you’ll start to notice different styles, which can help you develop your own voice.

There’s a world of wonderful writing advice out there. We’ve included a list of our favorite books in the Further Reading section.

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