Dealing with Writer’s Block
Today, writers have to find new ways to get their material out. The phenomenal growth of the ebook industry is no accident. This new medium of distribution is fast, efficient and extremely profitable.
If you want to start your new business of selling words, the same words, over and over again without lifting a finger when it’s done, then you have to start right now.
Maybe you’ve already started, or is it still just an idea? Maybe you just can’t keep at it or the finish line seems too far away. Either way, it can be frustrating when your “get-up-and-go” gets up and, well, goes!
It happens to all writers. The dreaded “writer’s block,” the equally troublesome “information block.” Or, worst of all, the “I don’t have anything worth saying” block.
The last type of block is truly the worst impairment to completing your ebook, as it can be damaging to your confidence. Anyone – I repeat, anyone – has a story to tell. You have a story to tell. We all do!
Unless you’re Dr. Wayne Dyer who writes all his books with pen in hand on a pad of paper in a continuous stream of consciousness, you will have to find alternative ways to get those pages done.
Here are several ways to keep the words coming:
Points to Paragraphs to Pages
In my last ebook, Simple Forex Solution(TM), I had a section explaining “moving averages” and how to apply them to currency trading charts. I knew the information very well as I had used this chart analysis technique for years trading stocks and currencies.
The problem was I had never attempted to explain it to anyone else. I avoided that section of my ebook for some time. I knew it had to be done, but I kept procrastinating.
The longer I waited, the worst my anxiety got. Finally, I sat down to take a stab at it and in doing so, developed a way to put it all together that I now use regularly.
I decided to make a simple point form list of all the key ideas and information I needed to explain. I jotted them all down as quickly as possible, taking no breaks.
I didn’t care what order they were in; I just wrote them down on paper one after the other. If I remembered more items, points or details, I just added them to the end of the list.
Before long, I had two pages of points I needed to make. I looked over the list and deleted a few points I could do without. It’s easier to add while you are on a roll, then delete what you don’t need later.
When I had all the points I needed, I took out a fresh sheet of lined paper and rewrote these points in the order I thought they should be presented, as best I could.
I spaced each point out with two or three lines in between. I thought about how I would use this summary of steps if I were presenting this topic verbally to a class.
How could I present it in an interesting and engaging way?
The idea of “moving averages” can be a pretty dry subject, so I endeavored to add some flavor where I could.
I looked at each of these points and wrote one or two sentences in the spaces below that explained the point.
End of Day Data
The End of Day data is the closing price of the stock or currency. Many moving average curves use this figure and a set of figures from the days before to help plot the curve on a chart.
Approaching your ebook in this way makes the blank page less daunting. Simply break it down to the essentials and slowly expand each point.
Don’t be too concerned about the flow of the points yet. Just add a few sentences to each point and before you know it, you’ve written a few pages and have developed a good structure for that section.
Don’t edit as you go; just get it down. Editing is for later… much later. Once you have gone as far as you can, I suggest that you take a break to get some perspective and distance yourself from the material before looking it over again.
The World at Your Fingertips
For the “Information Block” problem, consider yourself the luckiest writer alive because never in history has so much information been available so quickly and cheaply. The internet and libraries contain almost everything you need on every topic imaginable.
Let’s say your ebook topic deals with Starting a Small Lawn Care Business for Exercise and Profit. Even using just the Yellow Pages, it can be fast and easy to investigate all the lawn care businesses in your area or the national chains, to see what they do and how they do it.
No need to reinvent the wheel here. Look for a few simple ways to make improvements or some new innovative ideas to make your business idea unique.
See what new things similar service business are doing and adopt those to lawn care. Remember, the bestselling ebooks deal with ways to make money. Those are the best ones selling anywhere!
Keep it Familiar
And finally, write about something you enjoy and know about. You don’t have to sit down for hours on end. Try writing just an hour per day, preferably in the morning when your mind is fresh. Increase the time if you feel you are getting on a roll.
If you are interested in developing into a full-time serious writer, I can recommend several books and ebooks on the topic at my website listed below. Just don’t substitute your writing time for your reading time or your ebook will never get done.
This is a habit with which I still struggle. I take too much time out from writing to read, justifying to myself that I’m still doing research.
I keep a very small pocketsize notepad and pen with me at all times. You should do the same. You never know where you’ll be when a good idea hits you. If you don’t write it down, it may be lost forever.
Here’s a little rule you can adopt: All new ideas must be written down immediately, no exceptions. Use the back of a napkin at a restaurant if you have to.
Respond quickly to any sudden inspiration to write. Look at this as a gift that if you fail to accept will disappear. The urge may not last if you put it off.
And lastly, don’t stop if you get on a roll; go with it until you are exhausted if you can. Don’t question it; just submit to these moments of inspiration.