This is a guest post by Audrey Porterman
In part one of this series, I gave you a ton of tips for preventing and overcoming writer’s block. Well, here are a whole lot more:
Use Multiple Monitors
I use multiple monitors when researching all the time, personally speaking never any more than two. One monitor should have your Word editor open in it, for me that is my right monitor. The other monitor should have your websites and other references on it.
If You Get Stuck
If you have multiple assignments, first off try to focus on one at a time. Don’t try to juggle multiple writing assignments at once it can cause confusion and make you more stuck.
If you are stuck on one assignment for a long time like greater than 30-45 minutes then know when to “quit.” Don’t actually quit an assignment, just start another and make sure you close out the previous one completely.
By starting another, you might find inspiration that could help you in the assignment giving you trouble.
Inspiration comes in many forms and from many places. The best place for it is online where you have the world at your fingertips. Wow, that is a lot of clichés for the first two sentences, sorry about that, but it’s true.
When covering a topic, hit many sites and get many perspectives on it. Find the one that best matches your feelings and viewpoints. On your piece of paper, write down things that you liked from their take and things that interested you.
Don’t focus on negatives they can be distracting and begin to consume you, unless you can use it productively and you see them as universal negatives. Universal negatives are negatives that multiple sources bring up and aren’t just a complaint from one source which could hint to that source being biased.
As a writer, we tend to find inspiration where others don’t, so you should get in the practice of carrying a mini notepad and using your phone’s camera feature to capture the moments for later reference.
I know I mentioned this in part one, but there’s more to it.
Remember how I said there are sites that I have bookmarked for every topic imaginable? Most of the sites are great for an excerpt or a brief description. Some times that is enough for me to run with and elaborate on, but other times they are too vague.
If you’re using a site like Engadget (aka: another blog site; professional or not), don’t ignore the source links at the end of most articles. They’ll provide the user with more specific information pertaining to the topic and usually without bias that some sites may have.
Never forget to site your sources in the end, if applicable.
How do you do research for your projects?
About the Author: Audrey Porterman is the main researcher and writer for doctoralprograms.org. Her most recent accomplishment includes graduating from Ohio State, with a degree in business management. Her current focus for the site involves social work phd programs and psychology doctorates.