How do I: deal with writer’s block

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Someone asked me recently how do I deal with writer’s block and what is the opposite of it.

Hypergraphia is the opposite of writer’s block.

As a writer, you probably don’t want writer’s block nor hypergraphia. Something in between works well. 

Some writers claim there is no such thing as writer’s block, just as much as no one suffers from speaker’s block (let us assume this is not public speaking which many people are afraid of).

There is a lot of reasons why writers find it hard to write sometimes. Author Steven Pressfield wrote about these challenges, excuses, remedies, and struggles in The War of Art. Note this is not by Sun Tzu who wrote The Art of War, but that is a good read as well.

Besides focus, the structure is often one of those missing elements that may be a common blocker in the writing process. The structure can be used as building blocks for your project and help guide you to what still needs work. Without a structure, it is like creating a building with no plans and no timeline which would not work out well for any existing budget nor sanity. That structure may include an outline that becomes a table of contents. That structure can be fluid (like water) as contents expand and flexible (like bamboo) as it grows more mature and hopefully clear to what it’s for and who’s it for. You can use a mindmap to link ideas together. You can use timelines with multiple swimlanes to figure out time frames for events with each character. These tools will help you fill gaps in your book project.

Don’t waste your time. Schedule your writing time daily. Make your book project a daily habit for as little as 30 minutes a day when you have available time, energy, and ideas flowing.

Take that massive book project which is likely a big hairy audacious goal (BHAG) and break that structure down into finite timely achievable goals (FTAGs). Each goal is a series of doable steps.

Perfect is not an achievable goal, so move on from the myth of perfect and just ship it.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

For help with your own book project, schedule consulting time online with Henrik de Gyor today

Tools I use: Audiobooks

Audio guide icon isolated on white background

When it comes to consuming books, I prefer to consume and digest audiobooks. My ears are more available than my eyes. When I am cooking, driving, traveling, walking, showering, waiting anywhere…I listen to podcasts or audiobooks. Rarely do I listen to music. I would prefer to learn something.

Audible is one of those great options for audiobooks.

I converted hardcore print book readers into audiobook listeners when I asked them how well they were ale to finish a printed book (or ebook) and how quickly they consumed that physical book. The speed and comprehension is unmatched once you get used to it.

Since I use my local county library resources, I first check hoopladigital.com because it is free for audiobooks that are over 1 year old. If it is not available on Hoopla then I go to Audible if I really want the audiobook. This way I maximize the audiobooks I can consume and digest each month with the best value.

Questions?

Best books consumed in the past few years

Writers get better by writing more and reading more. Some writers will purposely read outside from their genre to learn something else.

Here are a few of the best books I have read in the past three years:
Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity
by Kim Scott

 

by Adam Morgan, Mark Barden

Before taking the altMBA, this was one of the books we were mailed and asked to read prior to the month-long course. Found the reframing of constraints from limitations to advantages very helpful with their models and real-world examples.

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days 
by Jake Knapp

Went to the book launch for this book, read this book, suggested a number of startups use this model to help them, led a 5-day workshop to use this Sprint process and it was very fruitful use of our time to resolve big challenges for those startups.

 

What are your favorite recent non-fiction books?