In the early stages of planning a piece of writing, try to give yourself the time and space to explore the topic in a loose way, in a state of total relaxation. We can all get very stressed about exams, grades and writing to a deadline. Giving yourself permission to experience a short interlude when you think freely and play with ideas – without your internal ‘critical voice’ intervening – can help to clarify your argument. Techniques such as freewriting (writing without thinking or stopping), mind mapping using colours and shapes, and speaking aloud, can divert you from established thought patterns and refresh your perspective on the question. Drawing, speaking and writing freely are ways of giving centre stage to thoughts that you’ve kept ‘in the wings’ up to now. Some of them may be valuable. Start by breathing deeply five or six times with your eyes closed. Relax. And then begin.
Dr Anne Wilson
10 January 2018
When writing an essay it is easy to get so concerned about following the academic ‘rules’ that creativity goes out of the window. How can you encourage your self-expression and creativity, while still following the conventions? Here is one suggestion. Before you do any research, write down what you know, think and feel about the…
Keep a notebook with you at all times to jot down ideas for your next writing stint.
Sticky notes can be incredibly helpful for organising your writing.