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1 Email Daily + 10 Days = Your Book
A step-by-step writing
curse, erm course, to plan your entire book and complete the first chapter in, you guessed it, 10 days.
FREE for a limited time.
#10DayBook will teach you how to generate and evaluate a book idea on any subject that you’re passionate about. You’ll even be able to gauge commercial potential if you intend to selling your book.
Step-by-step instructions. The exercises are based on my story development workshops for theses, books or screenplays. This course will empower you with a simple writing process that can be applied to complete non-fiction books on just about any subject, and can even be used to tell a personal story. What book you write is really up to you. If you don’t have an idea, that’s okay too. You’ll learn to find one worth writing about in the very first lesson of this writing course.
1 Email Daily + 10 Days = Your Book
FREE for a limited time.
It was Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” that first inspired me to write. I had an idea, and was enthusiastic, but didn’t get past a few pages and found myself sitting back thereafter doubting whether my story was even worth telling in the first place?
That was my first experience with writer’s block.
I refused to give up. Difficult questions, I learnt, were exactly what my story needed to find its way. I needed to know all sorts of things about my characters and their fictional lives. That implied a knowledge of their imaginary worlds too, and why they were doing the things that they were. That led to even more questions, and I was soon so overwhelmed with details that I couldn’t write a single word. Yet again, I was saddled with writer’s block.
Not ready for defeat, I turned to my experience in software development to help organize my story ideas.
Information Technology, in principle, is about turning raw ideas or facts into something meaningful to work with. Data becomes information by first identifying its type, and then making it useful by drawing connections to and from it with other bits of information. Now that statement may be accurate but it’s as bereft of emotional power as the terms ‘data’ and ‘information’ are. Where was my sparkly inspiration, I asked, while fighting the drowsiness in my words. They had no direction, message or relevance to life, and having nothing to say was still tantamount to writer’s block despite the number of pages I had filled.
I concluded that I lacked talent and the world echoed it by telling me to get a proper job. If you’ve experienced writer’s block, you’ll know what that resignation feels like. Luckily, I was stubborn, and was compelled to understand why.
Was having the desire to write, but being unable to fulfil it, perhaps a cruelty upon myself that I had learnt? Did I imbibe that lesson the time I was whipped at school for plagiarising my essay when it was in fact one of the few times that I had diligently sat down to do my homework? Was it because I’m a chatterbox and had been told to shut up once too many times that I eventually decided to listen?
The more I pondered the reasons for my writer’s block, the less real they became. They all reflected the past, and were essentially excuses for not communicating the inspiration that was simply asking to be expressed through me. Writer’s block then amounted to a refusal, and denying myself my own desire, for whatever reason, was just plain stupid.
That’s how these writing exercises were discovered, tweaked or invented.
I basically overcame writer’s block by osmosis, wielding creative exploration as my only tool. So, what you’ll get in #10DayBook are my own hard-won truths. They are based on the understanding that communication comes naturally if you don’t allow preconceptions or judgements to become obstacles. In my experience, that is the seed of writer’s block that grows into all kinds of problems.
You may even be familiar with those problems if you’ve attempted to write. Suddenly the dishes have to be washed. Shoes must be polished. Perfection, depression, anything to avoid the blank sheet of paper. I guess it’s why writers sometimes quip that the words will come when blood drips from your forehead. It’s that or heroin, I guessed.
But why suffer yourself?
The difficulty with writing, I think, begins with a lack of clarity in saying what you want in the way you intend to. That molehill is made into a mountain by the mind and, thereafter, no words are ever good enough. Even simple ones, nevermind the honest ones. Why would they be if you didn’t know what to say or somehow feel that they shouldn’t be said?
That’s why I’m recommending that the daunting term “writer’s block” be replaced by “zipped lips”.
Understand that ideas attract scrutiny by default. That’s the price of sharing, because everything is relative. Besides, you must think that your ideas have value if you feel compelled to share them. At worst, you’ll be wrong, and will learn something. That doesn’t diminish you in any way. Even if you were a dummy, a conscious effort is still why the pen is mightier than the sword.
Hey, even presidents tweet dumb things. It’s a common problem.
Ultimately, what you do with your ideas is up to you. It’s as simple as that. You’ll find that there’s no such thing as “speaker’s block” unless you deliberately decide to zip your lips. As far as writing goes, it’s simply the act of putting words to paper in the way that you speak.
That’s it, your ‘writing voice’, the foundation upon which to build your language skills. All the emotional power you’re endowed with comes through it. Writing as you speak also happens to be the simplest way to transmit your inspiration to another mind. And I guess that, if you can write, you already know how to speak.
Giving yourself permission to say what you want aside, a lack of clarity in communication is often just cognitive dissonance.
For example, I romanticized the notion of whipping out my feather from my robe and dipping into an inkwell before thoughtfully penning a profound sentence like Oscar Wilde may have. Even if I fancied myself a reincarnation of him though, what was deep and thoughtful centuries ago could only be made relevant now if they were grounded in actual experience. That’s why one of the most ubiquitous advices there is on writing says that you should write what you know.
You can’t do that using someone else’s voice.
So, the bottom line about ‘Zipped Lips’ is that it is an amnesia of the extraordinary power that lies in your ordinary self.
Anyway, if these words speak to you, then you’ll probably enjoy #10DayBook. It’s FREE, and I won’t nag you with too many emails. So, go ahead, tell your story. Enrol now in #10DayBook!