Is writers block really stopping you from writing your book?

We are all experts at creating reasons why we haven’t finished (or perhaps even started our book). How do I know this? Because I have been a master at inventing more important things to do than write. 

You can so easily become a ‘busy fool’ or, if you are like me, you put the needs of others (and your bank account) ahead of getting on with the writing of your books. There is nothing wrong or insidious about this, it’s just a fact of life especially in these credit crunchy days. 

Make no mistake, by writing your book there is no guarantee of instant riches and retirement. Like the lottery, you have to play and be in the written and published category to have any chance of ‘winning’. You will also learn your craft and about the vagaries of the publishing industry by writing and publishing something no matter how small. 

Perhaps it’s a collection of poems or short stories. The literary world is full of authors who only ‘made it’ through tenacity and persistence. Some also only achieve fame posthumously. While this might not be of any benefit to you, just think of how you can leave a cultural legacy for the world and perhaps a financial legacy for your family. 

Speaking personally, I cashed all my pensions in early before they lost even more money and I plan not only to make my writings my passive income but also to have life style that supports what is essentially a hobby. 

Apart from financial considerations, you may have a full time job or a family to look after. The latter of course being a full time job in itself. Of course, you may have both. I am sure you will be able to think of many factors that will contrive against you getting on with writing. 

For example, the physical space you want to write in may be messy and there’s a much needed clear out to be done. 

Now I am a great believer in the win-win situation as a motivator. Forgetting for a moment about the benefit of having a book published, this little exercise at the end of this article is designed to find out what will stop you from getting your book written.  In the second part of the exercise you will elicit the collateral benefits in other areas in your life you will achieve by writing your book. 

Exercise: Identifying Blocks

List the things that you think are currently preventing you from getting started with a book. Here are some examples:

  • Full time job
  • Family commitments
  • Untidy office
  • No computer at home
  • Needing to do some research first
  • Confidence in writing
  • Lack of self esteem
  • Fear of ridicule, failure or success

Now list things in your life you would like to change, perhaps some bad habits:

  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Watching too much television
  • Issues at work
  • Family or relationship problems
  • Playing computer games

Finally, write down how you would feel if you managed to not only write and publish a book but also deal with these issues in your life. 

You can find out about the numerous ways to banish writers block in my new book BLOCKS!

How to beat writer’s block – get in the groove!

The more you write, the better you get at it and, not only that, but you will find your vocabulary improves. Conversely, you can choose not to practice and you may get rustier.  

Like all mental activity, writing uses dedicated areas in the brain. Simply doing it brings blood with oxygen and nutrients to that part of the brain and the connections between neurons are exercised, strengthened and multiplied.  

If you want to run that marathon, you would start by building up stamina, muscle strength and endurance with some shorter runs. You may also meet and speak with some people who had done it to get some tips. Unlike marathon running though, you can stop for a rest anytime when writing and just begin again when the mood takes you.  

The exercise at the end of this article is to be repeated daily and is designed to work the bits of your brain that perhaps are somewhat neglected.  It’s a technique recommended by Julia Cameron in ‘The Artist’s Way’ which I shamelessly borrow here. By the way, I thoroughly recommend you read her book as there are loads of other great tips too.  

Julia recommends you write something every day, ideally just after waking and in a quiet environment. She calls them “morning pages”. If you want to make them your midday or evening pages, that’s fine too and feel free to write more than once a day. If you wake in the early hours, writing can be very cathartic and help you get back to sleep once you’ve downloaded those ‘inner thought’.

You may also find that writing a blog each day works for you. As mentioned before, many books have emerged from blog.  

What happens is that all of a sudden you see that a collection of your writings and musings can be collated into a whole book and, without knowing it, you’ve written it. They may be a selection of short stories or poems. It may be a self-help or personal development book like this one which came from a set of PowerPoint exercises I run in my workshops that I then scripted and narrated for an online course.  

Breaking the writing of a book down like this also allows you to serialise it, say either in a magazine or perhaps in an email autoresponder sequence. 

Exercise: Getting in the groove

Complete 2-3 sheets of your A5 reporter’s pad or a couple of sheets of A4 every morning. This exercise should be done every day in lieu of actually writing your book.

You can write anything you like and here are some examples:

  • Base your writing on your dreams
  • Describe the events of yesterday, especially what was good
  • Describe your ideal day ahead or be creative & make up your best day ever
  • Describe the room you are in–or the room you would like to be in
  • Have a go at the next chapter of your book you are stuck on
  • Write some poetry
  • Write a blog you want to post that day
  • Write a story in just Six Words or Six Sentences

Spend between 10 & 20 minutes on this exercise – or, if you find you get in flow, keep writing. You will be amazed what comes from this process.  

You can find out about the numerous ways to banish writers block in my new book BLOCKS!

Voiding Karma

In my work with writers clearing blocks, I am increasingly getting involved with dealing with karma.

It is as if the aspiring writer actually embarks on a project to write their book to expose and address issues in their lives. When they hit a block with their writing and we clear it, a corresponding block in their lives seems to disappear. At the same time, a new perspective is attained which can be used in creative writing – a sort of win-win-win.

Then more learnings and experiences come along – onwards & upwards …

As we approach a new phase in human consciousness, this simple exercise is designed to clear old, unwanted patterns so you can take part in the new vibration  …

This is best done using paper & pen for best results, so click on the mind map above to print out a full size version & list the following:

1. Your goals for the year – and beyond

2. Old habits you want to break

3. Blocks that currently stop you achieving your goals

4. Actions you are going to take

5.  As and when your habits and blocks are removed, make a note on your mind map of what learnings you might get.

6. When the map is completed, use the visualisation Embedding Mind Maps in your Neurology

7.  Next,  put your map on a wall where you can see it daily.  Then forget about your goals, blocks and habits and just take the actions you’ve listed and wait for the abundance to flow

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Note if you want to use iMindMap or Mind Manager to complete the map, you can download the templates below – it’s vital you print the map out for best results though …

imm_icon_29 Voiding Karma iMindmap template

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mm_icon Voiding Karma Mind Manager template

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P.S. the alternative is of course to ignore this blog completely and A-void Karma – these short stories on Six Sentences might add a new perspective …

http://sixsentences.ning.com/profiles/blogs/voiding-karma-part-1

Embedding Mind Maps in your Neurology

This visualisation started life as one of the components of the Unleash the Book Inside workshop and home study course.

In the workshops, I found that the students started to get huge flashes of inspiration when I combined mind mapping with simple simple contemplative and meditative techniques. This version of the visualisation is more generic such that you can use it on any mind map whether hand drawn or computer generated. Note though, if you do use software mind mapping, it’s a good idea to use a print out first. This visualisation takes a mind map and embeds it into your cellular neurology such that two things start to happen.

Firstly, you commit it to memory much better.

Secondly that you become better at noticing coincidences and serendipities associated with elements on the map. For example, if your map contains your goals and ambitions for the year, you start to become luckier. If you are writing a book, you come across information and ideas that help you in ways that seem uncanny.

You can play the visualisation here

An MP3 version comes with the Unleash the Book Inside Home Study course ..

embeddingmindmaps_picture_421