Sunday, July 19, 2009

When You Can't Write - Tips For Authors Who Feel Stuck

By Lynne Klippel

Many authors bog down somewhere in the middle of their books. They feel tired, bored, and disenchanted. The idea of becoming an author, so exciting at first, now seems like an impossible dream.

Does this sound familiar to you? If so, you are in the 'Book Doldrums'.

Actually, it is normal to feel your energy and passion ebb when you get into the middle of your writing project. Almost every successful author has days when he or she doesn't feel like writing.

So what can you do to get back on track with your project?

Try these simple techniques:

  1. Reconnect with your vision and purpose for your book. You are writing this book with a goal in mind. You want to share your unique message with the world. You want to help readers solve a problem or improve their lives. When you remember your passion for your book, you will feel your creative juices start to flow again.

  2. Make sure you are working with a plan. If you are writing your book without a fully developed, detailed plan, it is very easy to lose your way. Many authors are tempted to just sit down at the computer and let their book flow out of them. That method works well for a few people. However, most writers need to know exactly what topics will be in their book and where they will be located in order to feel comfortable during the writing process. Chaos is frightening. No one likes to feel out of control. When you take the time to plan your book's content thoroughly, you will feel safe and in charge of the process. Order your content and at the same time you will reduce your stress and fear.

  3. Talk to people about your book.. If you love people, writing can seem like a solitary activity. Your writing doldrums may stem from isolation. Get out of your office and talk to people who are your target readers. You can find them in networking groups, community events, or even at the gym. Spend some time face to face with people, mention that you are writing a book, and enjoy answering their questions about your book. When you see their smiling faces and interested eyes, you will remember that you are writing for people who are interested in what you have to say.

  4. Increase your self-care. Writing takes concentration and mental acuity. To keep your brain sharp, take good care of yourself. Get frequent exercise, eat well, and get enough sleep. This sounds like trite information. However, if you are tired and sluggish in your body, your brain will feel tired and sluggish two. Most full time authors, like Julia Cameron, Stephen King, and Nora Roberts, suggest a daily walk, gardening, yoga, or other activity to keep your mind primed and ready to write.

  5. Get support. If you've tried the first four activities and still feel stuck, you need some support. Find a writer's group, hire a coach, or make a pact with a fellow writer so that you can get on-going support and encouragement.

Try these tips and you'll soon find yourself back on track and enjoying the process of writing your book...

Want to create a successful book? Discover 8 book marketing blunders that you can avoid. Grab your free ecourse at Lynne Klippel is a publisher, author and book shepherd who specializes in helping authors write business building books.

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