A colleague asked me for some advice about how to help a student who is so worried about the IELTS writing test that she feels unable to write an essay. She says she has a mental block and just can't start writing.
In my opinion, this student's problem is that she is aiming too high too soon. She wants to write the perfect essay now, but she is afraid that she won't. She's putting too much pressure on herself to be successful.
So here's some advice for people who feel stuck or afraid: aim much lower! Imagine you're a lazy student who just wants to do his/her homework as quickly as possible, and write an essay that you know isn't your best work - write it quickly and carelessly. Write another 'bad' essay the next day and the day after that. Soon the fear of essay writing will have disappeared, and you'll start wanting to improve your 'bad' essays. When the fear of failure has gone, you'll be free to enjoy the challenge and to do your best work.
Note: if you are not suffering from this essay writing 'fear', please ignore the advice above. Aim high, enjoy the challenge, and do your best work now!