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Five Alternative Approaches You Can Take When You Can’t Seem to Write Your Book

We’ve all been there. Fighting the inner battle as we yearn for the motivation to write yet seem to lack it regardless. Below are five different approaches that could help you get out of your funk.

Approach #1: As previously suggested when trying to create additional writing time, speak into a voice recorder. Record everything you would be writing down and do not filter yourself. You can then hire a transcriber on fiverr.com to put your words to paper. With that document either you can fix it and make it book worthy or, depending on your budget, you can use the same website to hire an editor.

Approach #2: Incorporate a primer before you begin you’re writing session. This primer can take varied forms, but ultimately you’re going to have to identify whether or not your chosen primer is effective. This can be determined by assessing your final word count of the particular session. Personally, I use two different primers depending on how much time I have.

More often than not I’m limited on time so before I begin writing, as a non-fiction author, I identify the section that I’m going to focus on from my outline, then I write down two to three questions I hope to answer. In other words, I write as if I’m responding to a very specific question. This can work wonders when you’re struggling to confront a blank page.

When I have more time I utilize an exercise to give my brain it’s much needed boost. The first thing I’ll do is look at my outline and identify my area of focus. With that in my mind, I go for a run or to the gym for approximately 30 minutes. On the car ride home and while in the shower I’ll make an audio recording and think out loud.

Once I’m all freshened up, I’m feeling good from the endorphins and I’ve got 20 minutes or so of audio that I can listen to throughout my writing session.

Alternative #3: Get a writing partner. To be clear this is different than a co-author. A writing partner can offer feedback and a helpful ear when needing to verbalize your thoughts. Additionally, you two can trade a paragraph and challenge each other to elaborate further.

The key is to ensure that your tone remains consistent throughout the entire book which can occasionally present a problem if you’re writing partner cannot capture your desired tone.

Lastly, the golden rule of working with a writing partner is to reciprocate. Do not ask your partner to do anything that you wouldn’t do yourself.

Alternative #4: Take a topic from your outline and list all the key points you want to include. Once you have that list the next step is to take each key point a little deeper by offering some

quotes or sentences that might be a good fit. Armed with this detailed outline component you hire a ghost writer. In this case I recommend you hire a ghostwriter through upwork.com.

Note: When outsourcing, always be sure to verify quality. A ghostwriter does not replace your task of writing, rather provides you with content to tweak and expand upon. 

Alternative #5: Depending on your budget, though I haven’t used it personally, I recommend you look into bookinabox.com. Co-founded by the author Tucker Max, this site claims they’ll be able to completely self-publish your book for you with only 13 to 15 hours of phone conversation.

Essentially, you’re assigned a writer who works with you to pull the words out of you and get them onto paper for you. They also offer book cover design as well as marketing services. Be aware though, the price is steep. However, it doesn’t hurt to look for similar companies that use the same model if you’re interested but do not have the funding.

These alternatives may or may not be for you but the key is to be open to a different method if you find yourself losing focus. It may boost you over that hump that consistently holds you back every time you begin writing a book.

Moreover, don’t just be open to different approaches, become obsessed. Become a student with an unquenchable thirst for learning more about writing and the implementation thereof.

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Four Ways to Become Obsessed With Writing

Becoming Obsessed With Writing

Jim Rohn once said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” This is definitely applicable when you are a writer. If you haven’t figure it out yet, when everybody you know is not a writer then making time for yourself to sit down and write feels very challenging if not impossible.

To curb this obstacle I recommend you start interacting with other authors. There are a few ways to do this:

1.) Join a Facebook group that focuses on writing or self-publishing

2.) Utilize meetup.com to start spending time with other authors

3.) Listen to related podcasts

4.) Read related blogs

In other words, become obsessed with writing. I know this sounds intense but sticking to a writing schedule over a long period of time is equally as intense therefore it is an appropriate obsession.

The other point that needs to be noted relates to the second suggestion above. Going to a meet up on your own to meet people you don’t initially know probably sounds daunting. I completely understand that and still struggle to attend these types of gatherings myself. However, every time I put myself out there I am always so happy I did. The value always seems to be more abundant than the other three suggestions above.

Despite this, if attending a meet up isn’t something you’re up for just yet, start with one or two of the suggestions and over time expand to the others.

The key is to force yourself to confront your book even when you don’t want to write. You need to hear about how other authors overcome these struggles. You’ll learn that what you’re going through is actually very normal and that the key to writing a book is not actually being a great a writer or even a good writer but the ability to write consistently and focus that writing on a particular piece of work until it is complete.

This is what I love about writing. It levels the playing field when it comes to talent. In other words, all the skilled writing talents in the world won’t help if you can’t finish your work. This gives a persistent person an advantage.

The question is, what steps can you take to become a writer who can follow through and stay focused over a long period of time? Don’t overthink this. Moreover, don’t start drawing negative conclusions about yourself as a person just because you’ve struggled to stay focused in the past. I would bet the majority of writers encounter this inner battle on an on-going basis. I know I do, but I also know that I am not going to let an off day or even an off week mean anything more than just a small bump in the road as I progress towards finishing my book.

You are a writer. You will finish your book. Do not allow yourself to believe that you can’t make it happen. Just get your first draft written down. Worry about nothing else until you get to that point.

The next and final chapter of this book will help you with the steps after you finish your first draft, but truthfully, none of it matters if you don’t believe you can finish your first draft.