Many executives and entrepreneurs have wonderful ideas for a book which they intend to use to advance their business or career. But during the process of writing, they occasionally hit the brick wall known as writer’s block.
Those who haven’t studied any type of fine or creative arts erroneously think that freedom is the facilitator of the flow of ideas. In reality, the opposite is true; limitations have a fantastic way of sparking creativity.
People call any slowdowns or hinderances to the writing process “writer’s block.” There are a ba-jillion factors which can halt a writer in mid-type, from personal to professional and from internal to external forces.
Regardless of what caused you to stop writing, here are three limitations you can try out so that you can get your words flowing again.
Writing Limitation #1 – Writing Prompts
Writing prompts are a simple sentence that either asks you a question or presents a scenario for you to imagine. You simply write in response to answer the question or describe the scene.
What’s great about writing prompts is that it eliminates the need for asking “what should I write about next.” They are a great way to either “warm up” before you start working on the blog or book content you’ve planned to write that day. Alternatively, you can use writing prompts to help coax your content out of you.
Here are some business-related writing prompts you can try out. Pick one and spend about five minutes writing your response.
- What event(s) inspired you to launch your business or get started in your current career?
- Which client success story is the most significant to you and why?
- What is the last business book that you read? What was your biggest takeaway?
- What question do prospects and clients ask you the most? What’s your answer?
- What is the most important business lesson you’ve ever learned?
Writing Limitation #2 – Free Writing
The name of this technique is a little deceptive. When you free write, you are welcomed to write about anything you’d like, however, you are limited by time. When freewriting, you can only write for the specified time, then stop.
The key to free writing is not to stop. You are not allowed to break and correct yourself. When freewriting, spelling doesn’t matter. Grammar doesn’t matter. Even staying on the topic doesn’t matter. The most important thing is that you maintain an unbroken flow of words within the time designated. To make your session even more meaningful, pair this technique with a writing prompt as a starting point.
The benefit of free writing is that it helps you quickly conquer the dreaded blank screen. Within five to 20 minutes (the maximum suggested time for doing a productive free writing session), you will have plenty of words to work with. Like a sculptor working with clay, you will go back and clear away (aka “edit”) the un-useful parts and polish up your prose for public consumption.
You don’t want to have too long of a freewriting session because it will become too easy to lose focus and miss the intention. 10 or 15-minutes is ideal. When you have finished your time, you should physically get up from your space and take a break. If you are in the process of writing your book, use several small freewriting segments throughout your day to help you make progress.
Writing Limitation #3 – Outlining
Many people assume that because writing is a creative art, that the process should be 100% free-flowing. But although the idea may have originated in a spark of imagination, all 50,000 or so words of your book are unlikely to appear in your document that way.
Fiction and non-fiction writers make use of an outline. If you are writing a book that is designed to help people in a specific area, you will want to plan out the content of your book from the outset to ensure your ideas flow and are presented in a way that will make it easy for your reader to follow.
The more detailed you can make your outline, the better. Go beyond just the titles of your chapters; drill down and create a roadmap for each sub-topic within each. Ultimately, your outline will serve as writing prompts every time you sit down for 5 or more minutes to write.
Have you tried any of these writing techniques before or are you just now being introduced to them? I’d love to know if and how it helped your process. Feel free to leave me a comment below.
The most important words you’ll write in your book will be your title. I’ve created the ultimate “limitation tool” to help you create a title that is proven to sell your book. It’s called 20 Killer Book TitleTemplates.” Download it for free at http://writeyourbook.tips/titles.