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Does Writer's Block Actually Exist?

There is a thin line between writer's block and a reluctant writer.

I do believe, writer's block is a temporary challenge that can be resolved, with the right approach.

Before starting a writing task, a child is usually:

- Anxious and worried about what are they are going to write.

- Feel under pressure to perform and stay consistent, especially if it is an extended piece of writing for a story.

- May lack the confidence to think if it is good enough, or why should they even bother?

- Desire to stay motivated or encouraged by a mentor, teacher, family member, or friend.

- Fear of not being able to commit to the task and succeed until the end.

You could say that starting a piece of writing can be compared to starting a race. You feel very nervous sometimes to get started. But once you start, and set the foundation, you feel you can keep going.

To be honest, this build-up of anxiety when starting a new activity, can be relevant to so many situations, so the question is:

How can we prevent the fearful writer's block?

Top 8 Tips To Prevent Your Child From Writer's Block

Encourage them to make mistakes

If a child is not encouraged often to make mistakes, they may have the fear to fail forward and make those necessary errors. This is the only way we can become better at any skill if we give it a go, and reflect on the errors after, so we can learn from them and correct as many as we can for next time.

That is why writers have to do several rough drafts before they get to their final draft!

Try not to over complicate ideas

At the beginning of our writing, your child might want to impress their readers with ambitious vocabulary, and their competence with using a semicolon!

But remind them that it is always best to keep it simple first, then as they re-read their work they can start to add more sophisticated diction after.

Use a brainstorm as an icebreaker

If your child is starting to become frustrated with the writing process, get them to brainstorm their ideas first before they decide what they are going to write.

This brainstorm can be a mind map, bullet point list, or even draw their ideas, if your child is a visual learner.

Encourage independent thinking

Before you save the day and help your child with their writing. Take a step back, and allow them to think for themselves, and try to figure out what to write.

Allowing them to write independently will help them to develop skills such as problem solving and resilience, in persevering through a difficult task.

When they hold up the white flag, then you can help them out!

Set an achievable goal

Sometimes we can be our own worse critics and put too much pressure on ourselves to perform. And in my experience, students tend to do the same and overwhelm themselves by setting unrealistic goals.

E.g I am going to study for 4 hours a day or write two/three pages of a story.

Get them to just do a little bit of writing and space it out throughout the week or a few days. So they feel confident that they will be able to complete the task easily, and not just in one sitting.

Even in an exam setting. Try to remind them not to think about the outcome, but the journey of their writing. Getting them to focus on small sections until they are unaware of how much they have written because they are focused on the process, and they are not stressing out about reaching the outcome.

Less is always more.

Do not make writing a chore

If your child is a reluctant writer then forcing them to write by giving them ultimatums is not the best way to go about it.

We want to encourage our children to enjoy the journey of writing, so whatever you have to do to make it more enjoyable, then do just that.

Check out one of my other blog posts, where I share some fun ideas you can use to engage your child in writing.

Use music as a stimulus

Music can be a great relaxing tool to use in so many different activities. Especially if you have an auditory learner that learns better with music in the background.

Encourage your child to write independently

This is a similar point to 'encouraging your child to 'think' independently. Once you have done that, and they are in the writing process, give them time to write on their own without disruption.

As I said before, it is not just about the outcome but also the process, and it is always good to break down the process in steps, so it is easier for your child to digest. This way, they do not feel overwhelmed.

Eventually, your child will not be able to stop writing because they will be in the zone!

So to conclude:

Top 8 Tips To Prevent Your Child From Writer's Block

  1. Don't be afraid to make mistakes

  2. Try not to over complicate ideas

  3. Use a brainstorm as an icebreaker

  4. Encourage independent thinking

  5. Set an achievable goal

  6. Do not make writing a chore

  7. Use music as a stimulus

  8. Encourage your child to write independently

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