Overcoming writer’s block: Journal Your Book

Non-writers will never understand the debilitating evil that is writer's block. It is real and it is soul destroying. You can go days, weeks even months without suffering from writer's block, writing stuff of pure genius when suddenly… BAM!
‘Wut ar werdz?’

It’s awful because to everyone else writing is just sitting at a computer and putting words together… To you, writing is life. When other people focus on putting together the perfect outfits or meals you focus on putting together the perfect sentence and not just the perfect sentence but a whole string of perfect sentences in the hope of eventually forming the perfect book!

For you non-writers: Imagine being a fashionista then one day waking up and not being able to dress yourself? Or being a chef and one day waking up and being unable to cook? I can literally smell your panic from here…

Trust me when I say, telling a writer to simply ‘get over it’ or ‘don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll finish your little book in the end’ is just adding insult to injury.

For you writers: Today I am going to share a technique I use to overcome writer's block, one that has worked for me on so many occasions I have lost count and I really hope it does the same for you.

Journal your book.

Working full-time as well as dealing with the day-to-day’s of life in general, in the little time I did have to write I’d find it so difficult to sit down, shut out the world and just write! (Click here to read some tips and tricks to juggle a writing career and a full time job.) It got to the point where I was suffering with writer's block daily and when I could write; thinking every word was pure gold, I’d read it back only to see that somewhere along the way I’d completely lost sight of my storyline - if I even had one in the first place?

I’m sure you’ve all been there, that moment where you think you’re almost done and you’re that excited that you’ve just got to take that look back and read through the amazingness that is your book and five chapters in you’re in a ball on the floor, curled up in a foetal position sucking your thumb; as confused with your place in the world as your characters are in your story.
It’s horrendous.

Deciding enough was enough and had to get my s*** together, with my new book I started to journal along side it.
My God, what a difference!
With each chapter I would ramble on in my journal about what I wanted to happen and why, going into depth about the characters and how I wanted them to feel, what I wanted them to do and the way I wanted it to affect the reader. I would also talk about how what happens in the chapter affected the rest of the book.
It seems such a simple thing, but doing this has made the difference between me just writing for the sake of writing and writing to be published.

To put it into perspective for you, I spent 3 months on the prologue of my book. I couldn’t move on to another chapter because I had no clue what I wanted to happen. I knew what type of book I wanted to write just not how it needed to be written.
I journaled for one hour, rambling on about what I wanted to happen in the book and who the main character is then suddenly, before I knew it I’d cracked the entire story line; every trigger point, every character, every conflict, just everything.
This was something I’d never been able to do before because I’d get so far then think ’S***, what happens now?’ and writers block would show its ugly face.
Journaling changed my way of writing forever.

They say the only way to combat writer's block is to write and I can’t agree enough.
When I’m stuck, staring at a blank page certain I will never be able to string two words together let alone a sentence, I journal. I don’t journal about anything in particular, I just write about life, what I did that day, what I want to do, just silly things until eventually the creative tap is turned on and the words begin flowing.

I hope journaling does for you what it does for me.
Writing your book isn’t the only form of writing so don’t let writer's block be an excuse.

J A Shaw

If you've enjoyed this post check out: Wage War with Writer's Block


  1. I've thought about doing this. I got tons of ideas, then I thought, who'd read it. I'll try it! Thanks for the tips!

    1. Fantastic! please let us know how you get on Pam :)
      Writer's Digs


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