You have (yet) another essay to write, and you feel like you’re losing your mind. There's so much on your plate that you don’t know how or where to start. What’s worse is that the pressure keeps building up!
Writing essays can make you feel like you’re on a hamster wheel – it’s never-ending.
Many students tend to feel anxious and stressed by essays, which impacts their writing quality. However, with a few clever techniques, you can write excellent essays while feeling relaxed and stress-free.
What are signs of anxiety for writers?
Anxiety signs are different for every person. However, common signs include procrastination, self-doubt, and writer's block. When you feel stress and tension while writing, you might stop moving forward. It can cause a vicious cycle of self-doubt and worry, making it challenging to write.
How can I relieve my writing anxiety?
The best way to relieve writing anxiety is to prepare accordingly. Start by breaking down the essay into smaller parts and setting a reasonable deadline for each section. Take regular breaks from writing to stretch and take deep breaths. This allows oxygen to flow freely throughout your body, helping to reduce tension and improve focus.
In this blog post, we'll share eleven techniques to help you overcome stress and improve your essay writing drastically.
1. Understand the topic and purpose of your essay
Before you begin writing, take some time to analyze and interpret the topic and identify the purpose of your essay.
Read relevant materials, such as articles, books, and research papers, to gauge your understanding of the essay topic. This way, you will be clear on the direction you need to take in your writing. It will also help you stay focused when writing and save you time.
Starting to write an essay before understanding the topic and objectives can lead to confusion and stress.
2. Set achievable goals and create a timeline
Writing an essay requires time, so it's essential to set achievable goals and timelines. Decide how many words you intend to write and create a timeline to guide you through the process of researching, writing, and editing.
For instance, you can dedicate a specific time of the day to research and outline. You can also allocate one hour for every 500 words of the essay, depending on the total word count required.
A realistic timeline can help you avoid last-minute stress and ensure enough time to write a high-quality essay.
3. Research well in advance before you start writing
Research is the backbone of any essay. That’s why conducting thorough research for your essays is always essential. Research helps you better understand your topic and positions you to write authoritatively.
Before your start writing, use credible sources such as academic journals and reputable websites to enrich your knowledge of the topic. Remember to take notes while reading to help you organize your thoughts. Researching in advance will reduce anxiety and make the essay-writing process stress-free.
4. Break your essay into manageable parts
Writing an essay can be an uphill task, especially when you try to tackle it as a whole. This is why breaking your essay into manageable parts can be helpful.
Divide your essay into sections such as the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Each section should be focused on a specific aspect of the overall topic. This way, you can concentrate on one section at a time and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
When you finish writing one section, take a short break before starting the next section. Breaking your essay into parts helps you stay organized and focused when writing.
5. Create an outline to guide you through
Outlining is crucial when writing an essay—it helps you organize your thoughts, stay focused, and write faster.
Once you understand the topic and purpose of your essay, research and create an outline, and jot down key points under each section of your essay to guide you through writing the essay.
An outline provides a roadmap of the flow and structure of your essay. It also takes the guesswork off your writing and prevents you from veering off the topic when writing.
6. Connect with other students
One effective way to alleviate stress is to connect with other students. Sharing tips, strategies, and helpful resources with one another can reduce the pressure of essay writing.
Find study groups within your college or join essay writing forums on social media where you can engage with other students. This can help you gain new perspectives and ideas you may not have considered. Additionally, working with other students can promote accountability, which can help you stay on track with your writing.
7. Set aside an appropriate amount of time to write
One of the biggest sources of stress when it comes to essay writing is procrastination.
You might be tempted to put off writing until the last minute, but that can increase your stress levels. To avoid this, set aside an appropriate amount of time to write. Determine how long it usually takes you to complete an essay, then set a schedule, and stick to it.
It may also help to determine what time of day suits you best, whether you are more productive in the morning or at night, and schedule to write your essay during that time.
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8. Take regular breaks while writing
Writing for prolonged periods can be counterproductive and negatively affect your writing quality. Conversely, regular breaks can help refresh your mind and enhance creativity.
For a stress-free essay writing experience, try taking a 10-minute break for every hour of writing. During these breaks, avoid sitting in front of your computer and, instead, move around.
Take a short walk outside, do stretching exercises, or simply talk to someone. Such breaks can go a long way in refreshing your mind and body so you can write better.
9. Find a comfortable writing environment
The environment in which you write your essay can significantly impact your productivity and concentration. To overcome stress and write a quality essay, you need to find a comfortable writing environment where you can focus and minimize distractions.
For instance, find a quiet place with little or no disturbance, such as a library study room or a coffee shop, where you can fully concentrate on writing your essay.
10. Get feedback from someone you trust
Getting feedback is one of the most effective ways to improve your writing skills and overcome stress when writing essays.
You can get feedback from a colleague, a friend, a tutor, or even your professor. The feedback you'll get will enable you to make necessary adjustments, understand your weaknesses, and refine your writing style. They can also give you a fresh perspective and highlight what you may have missed while writing.
Getting feedback can help reduce the mental pressure of writing a perfect essay, enabling you to write with ease.
11. Practice, practice, practice!
Finally, remember that writing is a skill you can develop with time and practice. The more essays you write, the more comfortable you will become with writing. You will start to identify the best strategies and techniques for you.
You can start by writing simple essays and gradually increase the complexity. Try to look at each essay as an opportunity to improve your skills. With time, you'll become more confident and be able to write essays in a stress-free way.
How do you relax and write essays?
You can relax by playing soft music and breathing exercises to reduce anxiety before you start writing your essay. Go for a brief walk to get your blood flowing, and also try to find a place that gives you peace of mind. It could help to grab a cup of tea or coffee and settle in. Once you feel mentally and physically relaxed, you can start writing.
How do I gain confidence in my essay writing?
The best way to gain confidence is to write more often. Write every day, even if it's just a few sentences. Seek feedback on your essay writing to help you learn what works and what doesn't. You might also consider taking a writing class or workshop to develop and share skills with other writers. Participating in a writing community can also help build your confidence in writing.
Essay writing can be stress-free if you approach it with the right mindset and strategy. Even though writing well takes time and patience, writing under stress can affect the quality of your essays. As a result, you’ll earn fewer marks or even miss deadlines.
With the techniques explored in this article, you can reduce stress, overcome writer's block, and improve your writing skills. Remember to work on your confidence and practice self-care consistently.
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Last edit at Apr 20 2023