As an experienced author, self-publisher and freelance writer, I have the privilege of helping aspiring authors to write, edit and publish their titles to the world. Writing your first book can be exciting! For some, it could also be stressful.
You’ve set out to finally share the story that you’ve had caged up forever once and for all, you’ve planned out your content, written your outline and then you sit down to write your book within 30 days. Now, you’re about 10,000 words in and you can’t go further. Or you close your computer for the night and then on the next day, nothing seems to flow. You’ve got writers block! Well, at least you think you do. This idea is one of the reasons many aspiring authors never make it to the finish line.
Someone made writers block a thing and people have bought into it. Cut the crap! Writers block isn’t real. Nope, I don’t believe it’s a real thing. If you do, I digress.
Here are some things that can help you actually finish your book. By following these three simple tips, you will be able to work through writers block so fast that you will never claim to have it again.
- Write how you talk. Writing is basically having a conversation with someone. You don’t run out of words to say on the phone do you? So how can you run out of words to write? If you’re a new author without much experience, you probably worry about how things sound, how others will receive your work, and you’re probably terrified of making mistakes. Am I right? Scratch all of that. The writing process has many phases and those things are not a part of phase one. Your focus should be on getting your first draft completed. Grammar, style and formatting will be handled later. Get your ideas out of your head and onto the paper or computer screen.
- Use writing prompts. A good writing prompt can get your creative juices flowing and inspire you to write more. Writing prompts can be found for free online by doing a quick Google search. Even when you’re in-between projects, use writing prompts to stay on top of your game. Remember, you can’t call yourself a writer if you don’t write.
- Read, watch and listen. Where do you think ideas come from besides your own minds imagination? Other outside influences! Read anything from newspapers and books to that old box of handwritten letters you still have in your closet from high school. I’m sure there are plenty of ideas in there. Observe your surroundings by people watching or sight seeing. And like our parents say, sometimes its better to listen more than you speak. You can draw ideas from the couple’s conversation in front of you in the line at Starbucks. You never know what nuggets you may get if you just listen.
If you’re serious about pursuing writing as a full-time gig, you might want to get rid of the writer’s block concept. There’s no such thing as writers block when someone has paid you to produce a 60,000-word manuscript. You had better get it done, on time and it better be good. My rule of thumb when working with clients is “writers block is just an excuse for I don’t fee like it”. As working men and women, we don’t just show up to our jobs when we feel like it. Treat your writing the same way—like a job.
Call to Action:
If you use any of the three methods that I’ve listed, tell me how they work for you. Did you get any further with your writing? Did something catch your attention and inspire a new storyline? Let me know in the comments section below!