Writer’s block can affect us all, no matter how much we write or how little. There are many ways to overcome writer’s block, and I am going to share one here that is really just a bit of fun. And after all, the best way to overcome any problem is by having fun and getting into a lighter, brighter space in our heads.
Unfortunately, writer’s block can hit any of us at any time – even a prolific writer like me! We know it's bad when we see a blank page but can't find any words to fill it or when we try to write and end up just throwing everything away – over and over again. But writer's block can also strike when we are part-way through a book, when we have just finished a book or when we have got out of our natural work or writing rhythm.Writer’s block can affect us all, no matter how much we write or how little. Click To Tweet
The technique I share with you here is great if you want to get yourself writing – anything! It can also be helpful when you need to get started with writing your book, especially if you are struggling to decide what topic to write about. It's great for just get your mind flowing and breaking the deadlock with writer's block. Most of all, it’s intended to be a short, fun exercise, so you don’t have to worry about anything. Just enjoy doing some writing.
My fun way to beat writer's block
- Compile a list of up to 10 topics that about anything that comes to mind; just write down ten ideas from the top of your head whether it’s a landmark in your local area, your best-friend’s mad dog or how to bake a cake – just write down anything.
- Put each idea on a separate piece of paper then fold it up and drop it into a bowl.
- When all your ideas are in the bowl pick one piece of paper out and read what it says.
- Write about the topic on the slip of paper you picked for a minimum of five minutes. If you get into the flow, keep going. If you find it difficult to fill the five minutes, just pick another bit of paper from the bowl.
- Keep picking ideas out of the bowl until you have written about at least five of them.
How this exercise can help with writing a book
There are two main benefits to this exercise. The first is it gives you an idea of what kind of topics you like to write about and how you like to write. For example, how to bake a cake is probably a lot of step-by-step information. Did you enjoy that kind of writing or did you prefer to tell stories about your friend’s mad dog? Or perhaps you preferred to describe your neighbourhood?
Use this insight to help shape the kind of content you write. If you enjoy writing in a particular way, it is likely to be more successful because you’ll write with more confidence, passion and enthusiasm than if you write in a way you find boring or difficult.
You might not want to write a book for your business that is about a friend’s mad dog or baking cakes, but you can choose a topic that allows you do that kind of writing. Perhaps a detailed how-to book is right up your street or maybe you would prefer to use case-studies to get your point across.
The second key benefit to this exercise is that you can use it to winkle out book ideas, too. Try it with topics you could write about in your business book rather than with any old subject that you can think of.
If you need to find a topic to write about, put another selection of book ideas on slips of paper and pull them out one by one. Again, by writing about them, you will discover where you get into the flow of writing easily, which ideas stimulate your thinking and which ideas don’t. There is no point picking a topic for your book that is a struggle for you to write about.
If writer’s block descends, stay calm, write anything and use this simple technique to get your mind and your writing going again. You could even try doing it in a group with each person putting ideas into the pot. Above all, if you can’t write, steer clear of stress and self-imposed expectation. Relax, have fun and get back to writing with ease, grace and laughter.