It feels great to overcome writer’s block – the inability to create written content. It feels even greater to realize you are over it when you didn’t even know you had a problem.
In the past year or so I’ve written 3 books. I’m not ‘a writer’ as such, but I’ve still written and published several books. You might say: “Wow, how can a person who wrote 3 books in a year complain about writer’s block?”. But, yes, I had a huge issue with writing the original content. Something other than reports and PPT presentations – original, creative content that other people would actually read. In the past, every time I sat down to write, I ended up with a piece of text that felt like I’d seen it somewhere before. I would take forever to start, and the first page or so would be a simple paraphrasing of blogs, books, and articles from my research.
So here is my approach to battling writer’s block. I wrote 3 books, one on the topic of my hobby; one about the social issue I care about; and one about something that worries me. About 100 pages each.
All of these books were relatively easy to write, because I was very familiar with the topics. One book was about solving a personal question – I had an issue that I wanted to fix. I documented everything on a blog, and that eventually became the book. Another book was the result of research that I had to conduct, because I started a new activity and needed to learn more about it. A book about a controversial issue just ‘came out’ in one week. That’s what happens when you feel strongly about something.
So, here is my advice: write 3 very long (15-page or more) guides:
1. A guide about something that you want to learn about. And as you learn, write down what you’ve discovered. Name it “x for beginners”.
2. A guide about a problem that you have to solve. Document your steps and then rewrite it to make it a readable text.
3. A guide about an issue or something on the news that you care about.
Have you overcome writer’s block? How did you do it?