How to Get Unstuck When Writing a Paper


Getting stuck can happen to anyone who is working on a project or goal. It can feel like you’re in a dead end, no matter how hard you try or what you think you know to do. It can be frustrating, if not painful.

Stuck writing a paper is a common problem among academic writers and can be particularly challenging for first-time authors. There are several ways to get out of this stuck state.

1. Identify what’s stopping you from moving forward.

You may have self-doubt or perfectionism holding you back. This can be a hugely challenging part of the process, but it’s essential to tackle it head on and get unstuck.

2. Open up to your co-authors about what you’re struggling with.

If you’re feeling stuck in the beginning stages of your paper, it’s important to get honest feedback from your co-authors and discuss how you can move forward. They can help you identify your goals and get you refocused.

3. Ask for input – it might feel daunting to let your co-authors know what you need, but if you don’t, you’ll never complete your work.

4. Have a friend help you brainstorm ideas – talking about your paper to someone else can often be helpful. This can help you break the writing block and get ideas flowing again.

5. Have a friend help you write up a rough draft – this can also be very useful to get some initial ideas on paper.

6. Give yourself permission to make mistakes – this is a great way to break the block and get some of your ideas on paper.

7. Have a supportive friend or mentor to talk through your paper with – this can be a great way to keep going and stay motivated in the face of writer’s block.

8. Do some research – this can be helpful for breaking your writer’s block and getting the information on paper.

9. Get some rest – if you’re feeling stuck, it can be beneficial to increase your body’s sleep and relaxation. This can help reduce stress, which can in turn eliminate stuck thoughts.

10. Take a break from your task – taking a break from your writing can sometimes be a very effective strategy to break the writing block and get some ideas on paper.

11. Avoid judging yourself – this can be a hugely challenging part of writing up a paper, but it’s critical to keep in mind that you are human and making mistakes is natural.

12. Have a good support network to lean on – it can be tough to feel stuck, but being in a healthy support network is essential for keeping you on track and moving forward.

13. Having a plan – it’s a must to have a plan for when you’re working on your writing, and this is especially true if you are unsure of where to go next.

Having a plan can be a big part of getting your writing up and running, and it’s an important skill to master to ensure that you continue to produce high-quality work.