For Authors

Overcoming Writer’s Block

One of the hardest thing about writing a book is looking Writer’s Block in the face and writing your way beyond it. It can be done!If you’re truly going to be a successful long-term author, you need to challenge writer’s block every single time it comes your way. After your first book, when you stare at the blank page and begin your second book, you’re still going to want to have a methodology in place that will help you stay true to your goal of finishing your book.

Here are some proven tips for overcoming Writer’s Block:

  • Set a specific time each day for writing.
  • Turn off your email and don’t check it during this time.
  • Cover a book on your bookshelf with your own book’s title and designed cover and use this as a visual prop for you to get your book done.
  • Reward yourself when you’re done writing. Incentivize your own work so that you will be rewarded as you go along the journey of completing your book.
  • Tune out the negative voice that tells you that you’re not worthy of being a writer. (Everyone has this voice—you just simply have to ignore it.)
  • Don’t edit your work as you’re writing it. (This very often leads to procrastination in terms of not getting past the second page of your work. If you’re editing the acknowledgements page, but you don’t have a book yet, then you’re procrastinating!)
  • Read the “War of Art: Breakthrough Your Blocks and Win the Inner Creative Battle” by Steve Pressfield. (Every author I’ve ever worked with, I’ve asked to read this book, and it immensely benefits their writing process.)
  • Keep in mind that Vonnegut was known to write on cocktail napkins, Faulkner wrote in long-hand at the back of a postal office – so no matter what tool you’re using to write with, even if you spend an hour tapping your prose – there is a method that will work for you!
  • Don’t send out your early work to a ton of readers. If you’re focused too much on their input, you will get paralyzed and not be able to listen to your inner voice.
  • Listen to your inner voice. Listen to it when it wakes you up in the middle of the night to jot down an idea or a full chapter. Do it!

Whatever you do—don’t give up!

Use your knowledge of Writer’s Block to your advantage and outsmart it.

Don’t ever let Writer’s Block keep you from writing your book!

  • Joshuastevens

    Nettie, the way I get over writer’s block (when trying to START writing anything at all) is:
    1. pick up a fiction book
    2. open it to wherever it lands and
    3. just read a little.

    I think I’m going to immediately apply your “don’t edit you work as you’re writing it,” since I’ve spent too much time doing that. My
    technique is only been good for maybe three to five paragraphs worth of
    new material.

    So thanks for working so hard on compiling your list.

    Onward,
    Josh

  • http://www.twistimage.com/blog Mitch Joel – Twist Image

    Pressfield’s latest book, Do The Work! is also an amazing kick in the pants for writers…

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