How to Write a Book – Part Two

How to Write a Book

When to begin writing and writer’s block

When to begin writing seems like such a simple question, yet when we truly think about it many people will ask themselves, “am I ready to start writing yet?”  My advice to you is simply this, if you have been through your method of idea generation and things are beginning to feel a bit repetitive, tedious or maybe even boring, then start to write.  For me the way forward always seems a bit hazy to start with but as soon as I begin to write the mists part and I find my pathway is clear.  It can really be as straight forward as that and if you don’t believe me then give it a go!

When I did this I found that my own ideas began to blossom and the direction became clear to me.  So in actual fact you could say that part of your idea generation phase is also writing and getting the beginnings of your work onto the page.

You can even take this to the extreme, why not try this exercise: the next time you have a sudden flash of inspiration for a story idea, sit down and write.  Obviously if you’re in the middle of something else (as we often are when inspiration hits us) don’t just drop everything and pick up your pen, but do give this exercise some serious consideration.  Don’t sit down and work around the idea and try to develop it further, actually write the beginnings of a story.  You may find that this doesn’t work for you and that you don’t like what appears on the page but at least you’ve given it a go.  I do think that many of you will be surprised at how effective this process can be though.

And that takes us nicely on to our next part, those dreaded words “writer’s block”.  I have to be honest, this didn’t hit me as much as I expected it would and I think this had something to do with finding my own methodology during the idea creation process.  Having said that, I did suffer with it a few times.  Now I don’t know if there is a ‘best practice’ way to address this issue so instead, I will share with you what worked best for me.

The occasions where I did struggle in finding the right words, or ended up picking my brains about how I should continue, I stopped.  I realised that you can either sit blankly in front of the page/screen, desperately hoping that the lighting strike of inspiration is going to hit you or you can go and search for it.  My way of doing this was to go and read a book or listen to some music.  I’m not suggesting that you find another idea to copy but these things can help to relax and untie your brain so that it’s ready to soak up some more creativeness, ready to fill your pages again.  Music is a massive inspiration to me and I will occasionally write whilst listening to a film score or two but I won’t go into this in too much detail as we’ll speak about that more in part three.

Why not try the ‘flash idea’ writing exercise I mentioned above this week and let me know how it goes? Also, I’d love to hear how you manage to bypass your own writer’s block, so leave a comment below.

In Part Three of ‘How to Write a Book’ we will be exploring editing on the go and where to find inspiration.


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