The blinking cursor can feel like a writer’s worst enemy. The more you try, the more elusive the words are. It feels like your brain is blocked. You have self-diagnosed yourself with the dreaded writer’s block. And the longer that cursed cursor blinks at you, the longer you wonder if you’ll ever find a way of overcoming writer’s block.
Luckily, though I don’t know who came up with the term, writer’s block isn’t really real. However, the more you obsess about being afflicted with it, the more it may try to hang on to you.
1. Get Clear
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A lot of times writer’s block happens because we don’t know what we are writing for. We just think we need to write but there is not target. It’s the same thing as when we don’t know what our destination is. We plain can’t get there because there’s not path to get there.
Get clear on how you want your reader to think, how you want them to feel and what you want them to do after they’re done reading. Then you can reverse engineer what you want to talk about.
Also, get clear on what you want out of your writing too. What’s the purpose of it? To get clients? Make people feel inspired? To be seen as an expert in your industry?
2. Let Go of Perfection
As Seth Godin says, it’s our unwillingness to write bad sentences or fail that gives us writer’s block. We are afraid to be judged. We think we aren’t good writers. But the thing is, if you can talk, you can write. You do it all the time without even thinking about it. So write like you talk. Think about how you would have a conversation with your friend over coffee.
Remember that there’s an editing phase (but do not edit as you go or you’ll be stuck editing chapter 1 twenty times before you move on). So go ahead and flub up your grammar and sentences. Be ok with potentially not making sense. After it’s edited, either by you or a professional, you’ll be able to modify it as much as you’d like to make your book meaningful.
When you realize that your bigger mission is to help people with your book, your ego can get out of the way. It’s not about how good you look. It’s about how many people are waiting for your help, needlessly struggling because you’re too scared to show up. Are you willing to show up a little messy for the greater good?
3. Portion Out Your Topics
I remember when I was a teenager and my mom would tell me to clean my room. It felt like such a mountain of a task because you could barely see the floor. I didn’t want to do it so I procrastinated. Then I came up with all sorts of reasons not to do it like, “I don’t have time.”
If you can take your main topics, create subtopics and then create subtopics from those if necessary, each part will feel much smaller. It will make it easier to tackle and you’ll also feel like you’re finally accomplishing something when you finish each part.
Using these steps, I was able to write my last book in under a week. I wrote about it in How to Write a Book in 4 Days if you’d like to check it out.
Need more help?
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Vickie Gould is a book coach, content marketing strategist, best selling author, and speaker. She believes that everyone has a story to share and a journey orchestrated for their positive growth — and that those experiences should be written in a best selling book.
Vickie helps entrepreneurs to write, self-publish and leverage their own business books to share those stories, grow their following, create more impact and turn readers into clients through her Easy Writer Program, one-on-one coaching and her free Facebook Group, Write Your Biz Book.
She has written 10 best sellers such as Easy Writer (named after her signature program) and Standing in the Gap, and helped nearly 100 others to become best selling authors as well. Get her cheatsheet called 5 Secret Strategies to Write Your Book Quickly at: bit.ly/5secretstrategies.