I am SRA in biomedical science. I think I am very good at my job, but when it comes to writing I just panic. English is not my first language but I do not think that is the real problem. If you give me a draft for a paper, a dissertation, a thesis, I am great at editing etc, but give me a blank page and I have no idea how to start. It is almost like I do not know what to say. I do know that that is not the case, and that am (or should be) able to do, but that is how I feel, at least at the start.
I write a first draft as a stream of consciousness. So it might say 'in this paper we discuss (x) - here I need to show xyz, remember to put that in - (writing) - how will I link x to y in this para? Maybe ...
And so on. It's a mess, but it breaks the initial problem of a blank page, and it means I think through my arguments as I go.
I use that as a basis for a better second draft that I might show people!
What I'm about to describe is basically breaking down the problem into small manageable chunks. (Working on a paper) I keep notes in the margins (MS Word, or Latex comments) about things that still need doing. I can't submit until I've dealt with (and can delete) all the margin comments. keeping track of what needs doing is a major part of the job.
Put a header on each section & write some notes about info to include. Start with the easy bits like Acknowledgements & Funding.
Often I write a 200 word abstract (structured as above) then fill in the proper Methods section (from protocol or lab notes). Next the results. Then Intro & Discussion. Then Conclusions or Implications. But really hopping around the draft as ideas cross my mind.
I keep text in red text or yellow fill that isn't right or needs dealing with.
Good academics can write a good first draft in one day. I'm a bit too scatty for that.
OP I know what you mean about struggling with staring at a blank page. Agree with pp though that scientific writing is often pretty formulaic, and is a variation on this:
I would always start with the methods, as you already know what you did and why, so this should be the most straightforward to write. Then do the results, because by the time you come to write a paper/report/thesis you should know what you found out.
Then move onto the discussion and intro/background sections. These kind of need to be done together to make sure they 'top and tail' the document to give a consistent narrative.
Then if you need an abstract or executive summary, do it last!