Overcome the Obstacles to Write Your Book: Part Four

How to Overcome the Obstacles to Write Your Book: Part Four

posted in: Productivity, Writing | 0

What are the obstacles to write your book? What’s standing in your way?



We’ve already discussed conquering your fear, finding the time, and getting organized. If you’ve run through those road blocks, then it’s time to actually sit down and write the darn thing. Writing is a strange activity, isn’t it? We feel compelled to write by a force we can’t explain and don’t really understand. You’d think it would be a relief to take our places at our desks, lower our fingers to the keyboard, and type away an afternoon. Yet…getting the words down can be the most difficult part!



There are scads of articles, books, and movies that delve into the topic of writer’s block. It’s a common problem, one that has led to a thriving industry of writer’s-block-quote coffee mugs. While all of us can relate to feeling stuck, we don’t have to stay bogged down in discomfort and doubt. Here are a few ways to make the actual writing as painless as possible:





Beat Writer's Block: Overcome the Obstacles to Write Your Book!




Forget “Work-Life Balance”

If you aim for work-life balance, you’re going to end up feeling dissatisfied with both. And while I wholeheartedly recommend that everyone fill out the Level 10 Life assessment, I believe that great focus leads to great results.


Since you already set a deadline of three months to get your rough draft written, put your life on autopilot for the next twelve weeks. I mean, keep your dental cleaning, since you had to schedule that months in advance. Celebrate birthdays and special occasions. But, like we talked about in a previous post, throw all unnecessary tasks and appointments off your to-do list. Reschedule, beg off, or just say, “No, thank you.” You don’t have to give a reason, but if it comes up, you can say, “I have something important to do.” Because, uh, you do, right? If this book isn’t important to you, it’s not going to mean very much to anyone else.


So don’t feel guilty about pouring your heart into your project. The world needs heartfelt work.





Make a Detailed Plan

For goodness’ sake, will you please outline your book before you start!? Whether you feel that you’re a planner or a pantser, the truth is, you can be both. But both types will benefit from making an outline. Do you want to have to think about what to write WHILE you’re writing? Or would you rather agonize over that verb choice, whether you should write in your grouchy neighbor somehow, or what you’ll have for lunch? I’ve tried pure planning and pure pantsing and let me tell you–outline! It will change your life.




You don’t have to spend an enormous amount of time and energy creating the perfect outline. In fact, you can make a really sloppy one and still benefit. The main things to decide are:


  • How long will your book be? (Approximately?)


  • How many chapters will it have?


  • What will each chapter be about? If you write nonfiction, make sure your chapter topics flow naturally and make logical sense. End the book with a bang–a big payoff. Start with an irresistible question or story that will pull the reader in. If you write fiction, list the scenes for each chapter. (Just a quick list, you don’t have to figure it all out now!)


  • How will it follow the 3 Act Play format? (Introduction –> Small Problem –> Surprise –> Big Problem –> Major Conflict –> Ending)



{{If you write fiction, check out my post on how to map your plot, here.}}





Make It as Easy as Possible

Finally, remove all the distractions that you can control. This is a series about overcoming the obstacles to write your book, right? Time for drastic measures. Delete social media apps from your phone, set the alarm, then put your phone out of reach! That way, you don’t even have to “check the time”. (That’s always the excuse we use, isn’t it?) The alarm will let you know when your writing time is over–just keep writing until it jolts you from your writing reverie.


Wear earplugs or listen to instrumental music with earphones so you won’t hear the car door slam across the street. (Are they ordering pizza again? That sounds good; maybe you should order pizza tonight…)


Don’t allow yourself access to a web browser during your writing time. It’s too easy to fall down the G-search rabbit hole. (Google search!) If you need to know the name of those little triangle windows that older cars used to have so you can write it in your story, just type a blank _____ or highlight it. That way, you can search for the term or crowdsource the answer on facebook while you’re editing. But if you look for the answer now, you may get distracted for the rest of the day. Add up a few distractions like that, and you’ll be way off track before you know what happened! (Ask me how I know.)




You’ve had this desire gnawing away at you for so long. Make this the season you write your book. How will you feel in three months when you have a finished rough draft? All the sacrifices you make now will be totally worth it, friend. And the word ‘author’ will taste sweet, without any trace of bitterness. You can do this!




NOW YOU: Do you have trouble focusing on your writing? What do you do to make it as easy as possible to get words on the page? What are the remaining obstacles to write your book?





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