What are you afraid of the most? Some people have a paralyzing fear of writing…
The dreaded blank page… the hand hovering over the first line on an empty sheet of paper… the fingers pausing above a keyboard before a blank computer screen… What is it about that first line that even the most published authors fear? Some say it is the fear of the blank page that creates the best writers. Anyway you look at it, it is a challenge that Jr. and Senior High students face daily. The numerous writing assignments that are designed to prepare them for college confront them with this fear. Many students claim that they just don’t know where to begin – they fear that blank page.
Using pre-writing activities is the best way to overcome these fears. Some call it research, others call it brainstorming. Call it whatever you choose, but it will help put your writing fears to rest. After the writer has an established topic, prewriting activities should begin by: reading, exploring, remembering, thinking, planning, connecting, discovering, notetaking, and outlining. All of these activities will build an arsenal of knowledge and preparation, and when the writer MUST write there is a wealth of information, ideas, and examples that will be able to flow. When I tutor students preparing for essay exams, I encourage them to do recreational reading. Reading for personal pleasure will supply the writer with a wealth of ideas. Though these are definitely not a cure all for the “fear of writing”, these simple preparations will help alleviate “writing fear.”
The more excited a student is about his/her topic the more fluent their writing will be… find the motivation and you have the key!