Book Writing Tips: Feeling Stuck or Blocked? Inspiration to Keep Writing


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Writers and other creative types often have days when they feel stuck, blocked or otherwise unmotivated to write. Stories of how writers can raise procrastination to a high art are legendary. It’s amazing how appealing that stack of dirty dishes looks when you’re not feeling your writing mojo, but there is a way that you can take that resistance you are feeling and turn it around to motivate you to continue writing your book.

As a writer I’ve been there more times than I care to remember, so I wanted to share some inspiration that might spur you back to your purpose. I also want to encourage you to think back to why you are working on the writing project you are working on. Is it something that you love or is it something that you are doing to pay the bills? Do you have a deep passion for what you are writing or does it feel like drudgery to crank out the words each day? Take a moment and get a fresh piece of paper and do a bit of free writing. Write a single sentence that captures the essence of what you are working on. Write about why you are writing this, what you hope to gain by writing it, and what you intend for the reader to gain when they read it.

Just going through the motion of writing down the answers to these questions might stir up your motivation to put more of yourself and your passion into what you are writing. It might cause you to take your work in another direction, or abandon the project altogether so that you can free up your time to pursue something more worthy of your time and attention. But taking the time to answer those and any other questions that come to mind while you are doing that exercise creates momentum. You are taking action and that in itself is getting you unstuck.

Keep in mind that resistance is real. In his book, The War of Art, author Stephen Pressfield writes, “Resistance has no strength of its own. Every ounce of juice it possess comes from us. We feed it with power by our fear of it. Master that fear and we conquer Resistance.” Pressfield also writes about the fact that the greater importance the project holds for ourselves or for the world the more resistance you will feel about getting it done. Don’t get mired down by fear and resistance. The only way out is through as the saying goes, so keep your butt in that chair and your fingers flying. After all, is there anything more satisfying than looking back at the pages you just wrote after having battled your way through feeling blocked?

I thought I’d share these posts that have other points of view and inspiration for you to keep on writing:

Feeling Stuck? Read This. . .

By Tim Ferriss

Big successes often seem like foregone conclusions.

In reality, most entrepreneurs (read: creators) who appear to have unique genius suffer through the same frustration as the masses of unknowns. They simply test and persist a few steps further. Read More. . .

Stuck? Uncertain? Meet Your Muse.

By Lisa Tener

“For years now, I’ve been taking my clients and students in my book writing classes on a journey to meet their muse. I think of your muse as a creative aspect of yourself.

It may seem like it comes from deep within you or it may seem to come from a place outside of you–everyone has their own experience–all valid. Your muse may show up in all kinds of ways. My book writing students and clients are often surprised by the trappings of their muse.” Read More. . .

Writers Block? Are You Stuck? Draft, Then Craft. Get It Written, Then Get It Right

By Sam Horn

“Inspiration often emerges from our work; it doesn’t precede our work.” – Madeleine L’Engle (author of A Wrinkle in Time)

“A client emailed me to say she was having a hard time making progress on her book.

I sent her the following message – and thought it might have value for you if you’d like to get in that delightful stream-of-conscious state where the words are flowing out of your head so fast your fingers can hardly keep up.

(Name of client) . .. please keep giving yourself props for writing, writing, writing.

E.L. Doctorow was asked what it was like writing a book.

He said, “It’s kind of like driving a car at night: you can only see to the end of your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

Keep driving to the end of your headlights.” Read More. . .

Writers: What To Do When You Get Stuck

By Writers Relief Staff

“Most writers have a secret stash of half-finished short stories, manuscripts, or poems—discarded when the author came to a screeching halt somewhere in the middle of things. If you’ve ever gotten stuck in the middle of a story or can’t find the last line of a poem, Writer’s Relief offers a few steps to help you get moving again.” Read More. . .

Do you have any words of wisdom or advice to share from your experience for writers who are feeling stuck? What is your favorite thing to do to get that mojo going again? Please leave a comment.

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