Tips for Writer’s Block & Creating a Competitive Book Topic
“Where do I start?”
I actually love this question when people ask—because my first answer is “right where you are”. I want you to stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Now is as good a time as any!
Cultivating a book concept can take 5 minutes, 5 months or 5 years—but when you’re feeling stuck, there’s a few things you can do ignite your creative flame.
If you’re stuck in the “comparison trap” and looking around you thinking “but….someone else is already writing or teaching what I want to do”…… “Someone else with a bigger following does this work”….. STOP. RIGHT. THERE.
If we had only one book published on each topic, how BORING would that be? There would be so many people that didn’t get the help, guidance or inspiration they need.
To cue inspiration and get focused, I recommend starting by browsing Amazon. Click around books in your genre and see what’s already been done. See how they framed the topic, what the writer’s background is, and for bonus points–check out their social pages. Then, order a few! Read them!
Reading some of the recent books in your genre will help make it clear what you can ADD to the conversation or what you can do that’s different.
To this point, I was on the phone with a potential client and she was feeling—almost too close to her work to see her magic—but I could see it clear as day. I told her what I thought her superpower was, but SHE really had to feel it.
So, she ordered a few books from her category—read them—and then came back to me and shared that she was completely jazzed because she knew she could take this content further than anything else she read. She identified the gaps and now she could be the one to fill them. Halleljuah! That’s major progress! What a great mindset to have as she begins structuring her content!
And guess what?
It was right in line with that superpower I identified for her. But sometimes it takes diving into the research to ignite clarity.
Another tip is to do a moving meditation. Some people get completely paralyzed when they sit down to the keyboard. Like that’s where the two-ton elephant sits on your hands.
So, get out and move—walk in nature, stroll your street, got to the beach and voice memo into your phone when inspiration hits you. Whether it’s a bullet point, a sentence, or an entire chapter flows out of you—what comes to you in those moments is worth something—and it’s flowing from a place of ease.
A friend of mine created her entire book concept and most of her proposal by walking laps on the track at the gym. Movement helps remove the blocks—get your energy flowing!
The final tip you’ve likely heard from me before. Look to your social media channels and your network of friends and colleagues and identify what they come to you for. What advice are they seeking? What social media posts and emails responded the best? Start there. If you’re a mentor or coach in workshop or retreat settings—or if you speak on big corporate stages—what questions come up the most?
I spoke at Soho House New York recently on the topic of Positioning Your Brand for the Big Leagues: A Workshop for Spiritual Entrepreneurs. They sold out the event and even had a wait list. I don’t say that from a place of ego—but to say that there are people hungry to learn how to make their businesses and their values align. And nothing makes me happier than seeing that.
I spoke alongside two amazing colleagues in the branding and personal development space (Michelle Garside of Soul Camp Creative and Kate Eckman, Confidence Coach and Author)—and what took us by total surprise (pleasantly!) was how many men raised their hands asking about how to be vulnerable in their businesses—how to take leaps of faith and invest in their story and their bigger mission. I get teary just typing that sentence. Because WHAT COULD WE POSSIBLY NEED MORE?! The audience was diverse and engaged—they made connections and lifted each other up.
What an amazing evening to participate in and witness. And you know what? Those questions helped us craft our themes for future events—we’ll be doing several more events soon!
Every time you speak, attend a workshop or event—those people become your focus group.
And as I will ALWAYS say to you—YOU’VE GOT THIS!
Have a specific topic you want me to address with a future newsletter? Let me know! Info@purposefulplatforms.com
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In this blog post, we’ll cover permission to pause in your writing, not just from the perspective of having a “maybe pile” but for everyone committed to projects—especially if you’re knee-deep in your book proposal or manuscript.
I’ll share key takeaways from my in-depth and far-reaching conversation with her in this blog post. You’ll have an inside look into what she looks for in book proposals, how she stewards authors through the process, and why acquiring a book is a mix of mystery and science.
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