Overcome Classroom Writer’s Block in 3 Simple Steps

If you are searching for this article, most likely you are a student trying to go through the most wonderful time of the year.

Have you ever get stuck in a one-hour exam where you need to write a narrative essay? Aside from the vague instructions on the damned exam paper, there is just one giant blank sheet of paper where you need to write. 

You look up to the ceiling. You look at your seatmate. You look at the exam instructor. You look down at the dusty floor beneath the table. Then you sit there in silence. So where do I start?  You ask yourself. 

You will repeat the cycle for thirty minutes until you start writing your first sentence on paper. Uh-oh! There is not enough time to finish your exam!

Been there. Done that. For those who have been there, congratulations! You just suffered classroom writer’s block. Have you ever wondered why your seatmate is able to scribble words on paper during the first ten minutes of the exam? Maybe she is a literary genius or a magnificent story writer. That is true but only partially. Why?

Because everyone can overcome the student’s writer’s block. Here are three ways for you to overcome classroom writer’s block and ace that stupid exam:

  1. Read the news 

I know this is a little bit too extra for procrastinators, but you can go to Google and scroll for the latest news of the day. Daily news always offers something interesting to read every day like celebrity gossips, politic debates, crime, and the most recent public event in town. You can use them as an inspiration or idea. If your exam requires you to write an action-packed story, you may write about a group of teenagers trying to fight the lethal virus outbreak from a reputable drug corporate. Maybe you get this inspiration from the most recent Corona Virus article. I don’t really recommend you to write that kind of scale of story in a one-hour exam, but you get the idea.

If this doesn’t work, you can refer to writing prompt sites from Tumblr and Instagram. Writing prompts are topic ideas that encourage you to write from a given topic. There are plenty of sites offering writing prompts ideas that you can bring to your exam just in case you need it:

Also read: 700+ Creative Writing Prompts

Writing Prompts: 60 Ideas you Can Use Today

  1. You are stressed out. You are not confident.

Ten minutes had passed but your paper remains spotless like your mother’s laundry. On the other hand, your seatmate has filled half the page and never stop writing. Of course, her English is better than me. I cannot do this. I will retake this course next semester.

When these kinds of thoughts conjured to you during an exam, quickly drop it. Worrying will solve your writer’s block and only waste your time. Push those thoughts away and stop looking at your seatmate. You don’t want the examiner to think you’re cheating, aren’t you? Comparing ourselves with others is not a healthy habit and may hinder our productivity. There is even a bible verses stating it as so:

Also read: 2 Corinthians 10-12:16 

  1. Do a fast write and keep your writing simple

Whatever comes to your mind, just write. You don’t have to worry about grammar, punctuation, and word choices. You can go back and fix them later. Just keep on writing dialogues, scenes, characters, and the story. 

One final tip that I can offer is to try to come up with a simple story. You are not writing a New York Times best-selling novel, you are writing a one-hour narrative exam. Never try to pull a Harry Potter plot twist with Shakespearean tragedy. Just come up with a short story with simple characters and a small problem to solve. It’s better to make a short story that makes sense than writing an unfinished work. 

Also read: How to Write a Short Story in 7 Steps 

I hope these 3 ideas will help you pass that English exam right on the corner. Don’t forget to check my blog for other English writing tips and tricks and Grammar lessons. Keep on writing, folks!

Published by Caroline Natasia Cahyadi

I am an adult, yet I spend my free time crying over fictional characters, eating chocolate and thanking Jesus Christ for dying on the cross for a crybaby like me.

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