Authors’ Block

And why it’s different from writer’s block

When you get asked the same thing three times in the same month, you know it’s time to blog about it.

Last month, three different authors came to me with the same tale of woe. Either a publisher had not delivered what they said they would or had let them down on a previous promise.

Over the last few years, I’ve learned the publishing industry is no different from any other – it has its stars, its stalwarts, its pretenders and wannabes and even its cowboys.

All three authors had completed manuscripts which were all well worthy of being published. So writer’s block wasn’t the problem, they were suffering from something equally insidious – Author’s Block.

The only reason I spotted this was I’ve had it too and only just cured it a few months ago. Since then, my world [and that of my clients] has opened up to a load of new possibilities.

The issue isn’t with the publisher, they are unconsciously picking up self-doubt in the author.

Fortunately, the cure is simple and it’s to take action and actions which lead to new levels of self-belief and motivation.

Here’s the seven things I told each author to do:

1. I told them to buy a copy of my new book Blocks and listen to the Becoming Fear-less MP3 visualisation – it’s transformational – you can do that here – and for good measure, to get a copy of The Wealthy Author

The last chapter tells all you need to know about Author’s Block and the others will be jolly useful too.

2. Ask yourself where else in your life this pattern of being let down by third parties you have no control over occurs. Ask yourself what is the common theme and learning to be had from tackling this pattern? Think about how your life would change beyond all recognition.

3. Upload your book to one of the many free ebook aggregator sites like Smashwords

Myebook

Freado

– let people read the first 3 chapters for free. Contact me if you need help technically.

4. Get a Twitter account and read this blog – Useful links for authors on Twitter

5. Buy a new and relevant domain name and start a blog.

6. Get an email account using this new domain name so as to look more serious and professional about your author brand (i.e. no @gmail or @aol)

7. As they were all fiction authors, I told them to submit their work to Harper Collin’s Authonomy & to tell all their friends to read it, review it and Tweet from the high hills about it.

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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!

Do you suffer from the dreaded writer’s block?

Introducing ‘Blocks’, the simple, easy-to-follow guide to unlocking your true creative potential.

This practical and comprehensive e-book takes you on a journey of the mind to help you banish your blocks forever and tap into an abundant flow of inspiration and creativity.

Who is this book for?

  • aspiring authors
  • established authors
  • copywriters, editors
  • artists, musicians, designers
  • marketeers
  • authors who have finished a book and looking for a route to publication
  • anyone who has to write for a living and gets stuck!

Anyone who writes regularly, whether professionally or for pleasure, will at some point have found themselves unable to get into their creative flow and achieve the literary results they are looking for.

This book is for you if you ever:

  • sit at the computer to write and completely freeze
  • find yourself avoiding your writing tasks and doing everything else instead (even the ironing!)
  • torture yourself about what you ‘should’ be writing but just can’t seem to get going
  • struggle to get all your thoughts and ideas out of your head and onto paper in a structure form
  • feel like your inspiration has just dried up
  • need a boost of energy, ideas and creativity
  • worry about what people will think of you

Being a great writer is your right! Right?

Whatever your goals and aspirations as a writer, I’m sure, like me, you will at some point have found yourself stuck, blocked, frustrated and perhaps despondent about your writing.

Now just imagine how great it would be to:

  • finish your book quickly and with ease
  • know exactly how to get into your writing into flow … and stay there!
  • be even more creative and inspirational in your writing
  • write more and better, and in less time
  • always feel confident in your ability to write well and with ease
  • never fear those dreaded blocks again!

Unlock your writers block with this new book

This immersive and innovative book gives you a complete set of tools and techniques to help you overcome your writers block, whatever the cause.

Learn how to get your left and right brains working in harmony and even how to write your book in your sleep.

This is more than just a ‘how to’ book, this is a manual for generating a creative mind. It will help you tap into inspiration at will and understand how to become a GREAT writer.

Steve TaylorSteve Taylor author of Making Time
This book offers some excellent strategies of overcoming writers’ block. It’s full of extremely useful and practical advice which will be of great benefit to any writer, both novices and professional.

I was heartened to know that I already follow some of your advice. When I have a full days writing ahead of me, I always meditate for half an hour or so.

ronHollandCroppedRon G Holland – Top selling author, The Billion Dollar Biker and Business Guru says BLOCKS is one of those books that not only works, but goes beyond what you expect.

Not only will it stimulate your creativity and free you from writers block but it will also inspire you to greater heights and motivate you into action as well.

This treatise could well be a turning point for you!

Wendy Salter, Author of Herstoria and Green Stones

You have really cracked this – it reads in a lovely chatty style, but in an informed and knowledgeable way, it absolutely works.

It offers prospective writers a fabulous hand-book to keep by them and real and relevant exercises and practices.

Congratulations on a great book!

Get your copy today witht the MP3 guided visualisation pack

For just £19.99, you will learn many simple innovative and easy to follow steps and exercises to keep your writers block at bay.

If you just read a chapter a day for two weeks, you’ll understand how to deal with writer’s block forever.

PLUS you will get six MP3 guided visualisations to help you enhance your creativity and tap into your inspiration at will. The visualisations are called:

  • Embedding Mind Maps in your Neurology
  • The Quantum Collapse of Thought
  • Becoming Fear-less
  • Re-minding Yourself
  • Future Entanglement
  • Journey to the Akaskic Records

MakeGet your copy of Blocks today by paying online here with PayPal or all major credit or debit cards. If you prefer, you can send a cheque or pay by BAC’s transfer – email me for details

P.S. And finally

There’s no need to be blocked – you can unlock your writers block now and in the future with BLOCKS!

Get your copy today for just £19.99 with the free guided visualisation pack.

Want to write a book & get published in 2009?

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So you’ve always wanted to write a book.

Perhaps you don’t think you have the time or the talent.

Perhaps you think it’s well nigh impossible to get published.

Well in just two days in a luxurious and stunning environment in the Surrey Hills, this is what you will come away with:

  • An intimate knowledge of the publishing industry
  • The four routes to successful publishing
  • The start and ending of your book
  • A detailed mind map of its structure
  • Knowing how to write from a reader-centric perspective
  • Learning how to write while in a meditative state
  • Finding out how to synchronise your left and right brain
  • Finding out how to silence your inner critic
  • A strong connection to the superconsciousness
  • Any writer’s blocks blown away
  • Knowing how to entrance your reader & write a page turner
  • Several new life long friends and connections
  • A writing buddy

Check out the dates for the next Unleash the Book Inside workshop here

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.