“Writer’s block, I just drove around it four times. All my favorite writers live there.”
― Jarod Kintz
You have a blank page on your desk, a blank screen on your laptop, or whatever blank object you want to have in front of your eyes. You stare at it wondering how you will manage to fill it with words; wise, interesting, amazing words that will teleport the reader into a magical parallel world. While staring, you suddenly have a revelation; a deep one. And this revelation says that You, the Writer, are in the middle of a powerful and stubborn phase called a “writer’s block.”
The panic attack is nearing. The deadline for your book awaits you behind the next corner of time. Your brain starts to fight like a real ninja who is suddenly attacked by an army of mosquitoes. The writer’s block bites you from all directions at the same time. The white page becomes even whiter. It almost shines.
Listen! I found such a simple method. It is so simple that even my two super-smart cerebral hemispheres wondered how this could be possible. It was a miracle. And I realized that… miracles are, in fact, in our hands. We can handle them if we use our knowledge and we trust in our passion.
Not too long ago, I found myself in front of a shiny blank page while writing my first novel; wanting to give the reader tools to help their own life on this planet, I decided that my first novel will be a combination of Fiction, Romance, and Spiritual. It has roots in old manuscripts written by humans who have reached high spiritual levels, and though it I wrap the information into a romantic adventurous garment—the intention is to awaken the incarnated souls who are now on this planet to seek the hidden meaning of all that is said.
I was left completely bewildered in my chair, near my desk, when the writer’s block hit me. Whatever I was doing to bring my inspiration back, did not return any positive results. During the moments when I was crying on my own shoulder, like a super yogi who can twist any member of her body, I was looking with lost eyes around me.
The next revelation invaded my whole human being (I have to mention here that in my case, the revelations are coming like trains in a railway station…when they are needed, and never missing). I understood what was happening.
The problem was my desk. Yes, you heard it well. My desk was positioned in such a way, that all the creative energy was being blocked. Even if this creativity would come in huge waves surrounding me, the energy created by my desk would block everything. Do I need to mention the so-called “poisoned arrows” headed for me from several directions?
Having many fields of interests in this life, and most of them becoming passions, I started to apply my knowledge about Feng Shui. I changed the position of the desk, I improved sectors needed in a writer’s prolific life, and after this, I started writing again.
The words were flowing in my head like a mountain river in its channel. The ideas were coming in such an intense way that I almost couldn’t follow all because of their speed.
Unexpectedly, in those moments of total bliss, I felt something I could compare with guilt.
I asked myself: “What are you doing? Do you really want to keep these only for yourself? There are so many writers who need to know how they can influence the energy around them!”
I cannot stand any feelings of guilt; so instantly, a decision was made. I will write a book about handling the energies that affect a writer. And I started to write.
(1) At the end of the first day, I already had written 20 pages. I was doing this with such a passion that nothing could stop me.
(2) The second day found me in the position of wondering how to organize all the information—if I am using a Word document. For a novel, it is easy to handle the plot, but for a non-fiction book, the situation is somehow harder. You need to have control over what you are writing in each moment. At that point, I was losing a lot of time scrolling up and down inside the pages.
I remembered hearing about the miraculous software used by the writers, called Scrivener. I made some online researches, but I was not prepared to buy the program. Therefore, I spent the rest of the day researching other options that could help my organizational process. I chose a free software also used by writers for its ease and efficiency. It is called yWriter and I never regretted using it.
(3) The third day I spent studying what the software can offer my needs.
(4) The fourth day was occupied with the book’s plot. I decided to split the ideas in 15 chapters, some of them having multiple subchapters.
(5) I practically started to write on the fifth day. The chosen title for my non-fiction book is “Feng Shui for Writers.”
The next ten days kept me stitched to my chair. The ideas didn’t let me go too far away from my desk; they were practically invading my brain, so I had to rapidly take them out to fill the page in front of my eyes – a page that was looking like anything else, except a shiny blank page. I admit that I didn’t even sleep the regular eight hours, which I used to spend in my bed until that moment.
I noticed that during the ten days, my sleeping habits had changed, and what before was eight, now became six or even five from time to time. I will not develop the theme here of what is necessity for the human body, nor will I talk about passion and desires. My goal was only to talk about “How to write a Non-Fiction Book in Ten days.” The main idea was already said.
To make it short, because you probably already want to go and write, I will then conclude with a personal advice, which I will split here in several parts:
(1) While having a writer’s block, forget about your novel.
(2) Remember that you have knowledge from so many fields of interests.
(3) Look around you and find such a field.
(4) Develop ideas.
(5) Put them on the paper, like a novel’s plot.
(6) Use the proper software to help you organize all the information.
(7) Do research based on your ideas.
(8) Collect information and organize them.
(9) Start to talk about your knowledge, about your passion.
(10) Add your heart there, powder on some soul, and mix it with some love for the reader who needs that information.
Now… Start to write the best non-fiction book that you ever wrote. You can do it!
“Writer, translator, researcher, engineer, happy mother, and beloved wife. What more can I want? :)”
To read M. C. Simon’s full bio, click here.
“In many cases, the more important the writing task, the more the would-be writer freezes up. The result can be something of a Mobius strip of anxiety turned into fear turned into more anxiety, and what you’re left with is a blank page.
To help you work through writer’s block, consider the strategies below…
Don’t wait for perfect words. If every sentence has to be a flawless work of art, then you will sit in fear. The sweat might pour, but the words won’t come. Just start writing words on the page. Know that once you have started, you can go back and revise what you have. But until you start, you will never know where you are trying to go. If you are writing on a tight deadline, it is even more critical that you let go of the notion of immediate perfection. One writer friend of mine offered the analogy that writing is like cleaning a messy room: the only way a large mess gets cleaned up is to start tidying one small corner at a time.”
First and most important, if you’re overly concerned about what others will think, don’t try your hand at funny . . . . stay true to your voice and integrity.
Jerry Seinfield wasn’t funny because he could do impersonations, or was overly animated or creative. He was funny because he told the truth about the mundane….
…when there was report after report about the Occupy Movement marching on streets all over the nation, I wrote Occupy Marches on Sesame Street—twentysomething angst taking on the puppets who lied to them first.
Taking cliches to the extreme is the bedrock to satire.
(First, see Commandments 1 and 3.) Metaphors and similes are to funny as Hugh Grant is to romantic comedy.”
To read the entire article by Joe Bunting, click here.
“I’m going to talk about research. No, research is not very fun, and it’s never glamorous, but it matters. A lot.
If you want to be able to make compelling case for something — whether it’s in a book, on a blog, or in a multi-million dollar VC pitch — you need stories that frame your arguments, rich anecdotes to compliment tangible examples, and impressive data so you can empirically crush counter arguments.
But good research doesn’t just magically appear. Stories, anecdotes and data have to be found before you can use them.
You have to hunt them down like a shark, chasing the scent of blood across the vast ocean of information. The bad news is that this is an unenviable task … but the good news is that it’s not impossible.
It’s not even that hard … once you learn what you’re doing — and I’m going to teach you those skills.
By the time I was 21, my research had been used by #1 New York Times Bestselling authors like Robert Greene, Tim Ferriss, and Tucker Max. Was I a slave to study? Did I have to become a library hermit to accomplish this? No, I did it all in my spare time–on the side, with just a few hours of work a week.
Here’s how I did it …
…This is the mark you must aim for as a researcher, to not only have enough material — and to know where the rest of what you haven’t read will be located — on hand to do your work….
…How do you find a needle in haystack? Get rid of the extra hay….
…One of my rules as a reader is to read one book mentioned in or cited in every book that I read. It not only solves the problem of ‘what to read next’ but it sends you on a journey down the rabbit hole….
…The Classics are “classic” for a reason. They’ve survived the test of time….
…a book of quotes, sentences, metaphors and miscellany that he could use at a moment’s notice….”
“Many writers find time management at least a minor issue, while for others it may be a major issue, especially those who can never seem to find the time to write. The following tips may not completely get rid of all writing time management issues, but hopefully they will reduce the time management problems to a minimum.
1. Track Your Time. If you find you simply have no idea where the time went on a consistent basis, then it’s time to start tracking your time. Take a week or two to record how you spend your time from the time you get up in the morning until you go to bed. Use a spiral notebook, split into columns: left hand column for the start and end time, middle column for a brief description of each activity, and the right hand column for the amount of time to complete that activity. Record the day and date at the top of each page. Then go through the journal to determine where you can shave time off activities (or remove them from your routine) in order to create more time for writing.
2. Set Goals. Goals give writers something to aim for. It could be a minimum word or paragraph count per day, a minimum word or page count per week, or a minimum article count per month. Meeting your goals will keep your writing progress moving forward.
3. Set Aside Time Just for Research. Having to keep stopping to research facts that you don’t know disrupts any writing schedule, cuts down on the available writing time, and distracts writers from their writing goals. Set aside a regular time to research the information you need to do your writing for the week. Then your writing time will be available for writing only….”
To read the complete article by Joan Whetzel, click here.
“What if I told you that the biggest threat to your writing is not your lack of passion, your lack of creativity, or your lack of skill?
What if I told you that the biggest threat to your writing is… your mind?
That’s right. Your mind is the biggest obstacle standing between you and all the work you are trying to accomplish.
Our mind is often the one that needs the most convincing that our writing is worthwhile. This is because our mind is hard-wired to protect us from any possible danger. You see, in order to protect us, our mind initially perceives anything it encounters as a threat—including your writing.
If this sounds strange, and kind of primitive, as if your mind is trying to protect you from a tiger hiding behind a tree in a jungle—then you’re absolutely right.
Your mind is still pretty primordial. So, your job as a writer is to hack into this primordial, hunter-gatherer mind, and update its software so that your mind works for you.
Here are just 4 ways to hack your mind so that you can become infinitely more creative:
…Get rid of all the thinking. Wipe your mind clean. Take a deep breath, and just go for it….
…promise your mind that you will continue to worry about paying your bills AFTER you write a brief outline of that freelance article you’re working on….
…If your mind sees that you’re making a big bet, then, it will immediately advise you against it—it may even try to thwart you from accomplishing the monumental task you’ve set up for yourself….
So, don’t make that big bet. Make a small one, instead.
…the return on your initial investment does not appear until much much later. This is something your mind has trouble understanding, and it’s your job to help your mind understand it….hack into your mind so that your mind works for you.”
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Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose / The more things change, the more they stay the same
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