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!

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How to Write a Book – Finding Time to Write

Many writers and aspiring authors say that they just don’t have the time that they need to finish (or even start) their book. At a recent speaking event I asked the audience  how many people wanted to write a book and a few raised their hands. I then asked them how many would want to write a book if they could find the time and knew how to get started – 95% of the audience raised their hands!  

Once you have the structure for your book, you will know how many chapters you need to write and can start the planning process.

For a normal paperback book, a chapter might run for 6 to 12 pages with each page having between 250 and 300 words. When you are ‘in the flow’, I reckon you can write a chapter in half a day to a day. To do this, you should resist the temptation to edit and research as you are going along. 

This means, for example, a twelve chapter book will take 6 to 12 days of your time to write. You will need to find this time or engage a ghost writer. 

To find this time, answer these questions: 

  • When are you most productive? 
  • What old habits can you change in your life to create this time? 
  • Do you have any ‘me time’ in your life and would you like some? 
  • Is it time for you to take a well deserved break? 
  • Does your desk or office need tidying? 

What unnecessary clutter do you want to remove from your life? 

Now it is said that every time you switch a task, you waste five minutes. So in preparation for writing, make sure you will not be interrupted.  

Get an answer phone if you haven’t already got one. Switch your mobile off. You may look at your emails every time they come in. Set your email application to get them every four hours.  

If you can be disciplined enough to write on a set day, tell all your family, friends and work contacts about it as they will respect you for it and leave you alone.  

You may watch 2 hours of soaps every evening to relax and switch off.  Now it may sound counter-intuitive but, once you break this habit, creative writing has many more therapeutic and relaxing benefits. Who knows you may even write your own soap!

By the way, if you like to learn how to stretch time so one hour seems like four or more, the techniques for doing this are what I teach on my courses and in one-to-one mentoring.  

To give you a clue how to do this, my best time management tip is one that sounds the most counter-intuitive. 

Before each writing session, spend 20-30 minutes meditating. If you are not sure how to meditate or have trouble silencing your over-active mind, just go for a walk or do some non-strenuous exercise – stretching, yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi are especially effective.  

What could be better than getting fit, having some ‘me time’ and writing a book at the same time. 

My philosophy by the way is always to create a ‘win win’ if not a ‘win-win-win’.  

You can find out more about writing and publishing your own book in my free Ebook – How to write a book and get it published.

How to write a GREAT book

So how do you go about writing a great book? 

How do you write a book that people tell other people to read?  

Well first you need to ‘go inside’ and examine why you are writing a book in the first place. If you want to pitch your book to a publisher, they will want to know the answers to these questions anyway so it’s worth considering them even if you are self publishing or writing an ebook. 

Take some time to think about the following and make some notes and these are the things you need to know for yourself and are the kind of questions that any potential publisher will want to know: 

  • Why you?
  • Why now?
  • What’s different about your book?
  • What genre does it fit into?
  • What other books is it like? 
  • What books do you like?
  • What are your influences?
  • Who is the target reader for your book?
  • What will the reader learn and take away as a result of reading your book?
  • What ideas do you have to find your target readers?
  • What are your aspirations as an author?
  • What do you plan to do under your own initiative to promote and sell the book?
  • What would you like to happen as a result of writing your book?
    • For you
    • For your business
    • For your readers
    • For the planet

You can find out more about writing and publishing your own book in my free Ebook – How to write a book and get it published.

Do you want to write a book – what’s stopping you?

It’s a commonly held belief that it’s difficult, or well nigh impossible, to get published.  This misconception stops many people starting to write in the first place. 

The reality is that it has never been easier and as inexpensive to get published. To get into the written and publisher quadrant, all you need to do is to write and then use the numerous options and routes now open to authors to getting your words in front of readers.  

With new print on demand technology, you can even have a printed book in your hand within a week. 

Better still, if you upload your writings to one of many ebook aggregator sites and you can ‘publish’ instantly. You can also upload your book so it can read on the new breed of ereaders from the likes of Sony and Amazon. The new breed of smartphones also allow ‘books’ to be read on the move.

There are several authors who have blogged their books and have got advances from publishers as a result.  There are even some intrepid scribes who are now using Twitter to the same end.

Even the traditional publishers are now getting in on the act and have set up social networks for writers to pre-publish their work. The ones that get the best reviews get picked up by editors and get commissioned. 

It’s important though not to put the cart before the horse though.

Before deciding on your route, or routes, to publication it is important that you discover what exactly are you going to write … and why? In my free Ebook – How to write a book and get it published – I talk more about this subject plus further information on the pros and cons to the many routes to publication

Workshop Testimonials

Here’s what attendees of the Unleash the Book Inside workshop are saying …. come along if you want to experience something similar … or even better …

We’ve now put a new workshop date in the diary of the 30th of September & 1st October in Surrey … more details here

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Tom takes everyone on an truly inspiring journey – Simona Style
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The course was indescribably good! THANK YOU 🙂 – Sara Bran
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I really enjoyed the workshop. It was very creative and fun, an inspiration to be part of. I left the workshop with a confidence that I can write a book, and I have already started the process. Tom has such a huge knowledge not only about the publishing industry and how it really works, but also he helped us to clear blocks so that we could tap into our inspirations – thank you Tom you are a master in unleashing the book within – @cimbartlett
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A very enjoyable workshop packed with loads of useful information, hints, tips and advice. Well paced and structured, Tom really knows his stuff and has an uncanny ability to be able to answer your questions just before you ask them! Many thanks for a lovely day – Jacqui Elliot
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Overall, I would say it was a powerful day from a powerful agent of change. And far more about our spiritual selves than I had appreciated! You are a magician and a sorcerer of great talent, keep it up! – Gary Plunkett, Business Change Expediter
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Thanks for a highly informative workshop, absolutely packed ideas, strategies and resources to speed up the writing and publishing process. Many Thanks! – John Dashfield
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A Wonderful Day!! – Stella Homewood
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Excellent workshop, Tom is funny, kind, warm and supportive. He makes his points clearly and packs in information. I highly recommend his workshops, I now know what I am going to do. Brilliant!! – Deena O’Brien
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Hi Tom, I must say – I was truly inspired by your workshop. You are incredible and a rare gem. So refreshing… Thank you for the impart of wisdom combined with spiritual depth. Powerful stuff – Tamatha Whitmore
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The workshop was fantastic and has helped me see the way forward in every way. Many thanks – Dominique Meeroff
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The day seem to fly with exercises being particularly ‘easy’ to get into. Even when blocks have been experienced Tom managed to lead me through them and his thinking outside of the box invited new material and ideas to pour in. There was a great detail of very useful information even if you are not serious about writing a book just yet and applicable to any other areas of your life. Thank you Tom, I know a writer’s seed has been planted – Tanja Gower
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It was brilliant…everything I needed to know but didn’t know where to get the information from was in the course! I would highly recommend this course – Livasha Mudaly
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Thoroughly enjoyed it, fantastic day, not often I come away from a workshop and feel as if I have ten times more information than expected. Would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to write or get their material published. Tom is authentic and walks his talk! Thank you – Mary Daniels
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Inspirational course that I really enjoyed. I hope you do manage to arrange monthly motivation meetings – Christine Tomlinson
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I enjoyed the workshop very much. It was very informative and helpful.I was quite ignorant re the publishing world. The information which Tom gave us during the course of the workshop will help me to channel myself in the right direction – Joya Das
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Wide ranging, practical – Helen Griffith
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Tom has a natural enthusiasm about writing and his enthusiasm is very infectious. The workshop had a good mix of the practical, spiritual and useful information about the publishing industry – Janet Limb

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A good day and quite a different approach to writing than I have previously experienced. Lots of positivity and tips on publishing and deadlines – Gloria Savoy-Voller
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Taking on the dream of writing a book can be intangible and esoteric and therefore many would-be authors float around frustratedly in a world lacking structure feeling anchorless. I left Tom’s course energised with a spring in my step; which after a day-long course says a lot. More importantly I had 13 well-engineered mindmaps instilling a sense of shape to my plan and a bearing upon which to set my compass. Tom is a skilled facilitator who gave a great deal of himself. It is rare, if ever, that I walk away from a day’s workshop energised. Truly rare. You are a prime example of what I would call someone who is ‘career dovetailed’, in the zone, centred, purposeful and filled with innate conviction. Thank you. Well done today, Tom! – Duncan Bolam
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I am now going to write the book(s) that Tom unleashed in me yesterday! I thought there was one, but seems after a good nights rest, there are 3 that want to come out! – Cheryl-lee Broadfoot
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‘New Age’ but highly practical; hard headed but not cynical; generous but not gushing; good fun, and hard work. It did much more than it said on the tin. Thanks – Keith Hutcheson
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I am just looking at your Home Study study material – it is amazing – I want to be able to prepare something like that for whatever I am to do! This is fab, I never realised that you are real wizard! Well done! – Tanja Gower