If your writing has been blocked or if it's not up to the standards you've set for yourself, it's time to step back and make an investment in your writing. And in yourself.
No, I'm not talking about taking some high-end writing course a self-proclaimed internet guru promised will make you rich. And I'm definitely not talking about throwing away your hard-earned cash on any write a book in a weekend program. I'm also not talking about working with a writing coach or attending writing conferences, although both are good ideas – when you're ready. And you're not.
When our writing and creativity is blocked, the best thing we can do is get it unblocked. Fast.
Why? Because writers write.
And if we're blocked, we're not writing. It's pretty simple.
What's not simple is trying to figure out why we're blocked with the same mind that is blocking us!
That is where the investment comes in. Invest in books. Not just any books, either. You need to begin with the books that will jumpstart your creativity and help you release what's blocking you.
The bottom line is, if you're serious about wanting to publish an article, a blog or a book, you've got to stop talking about it and do the work. And when your creative juices feel like they're all dried up, you've got to do the additional work of a writer. Read and learn. And that is where a lot of writers abandon their creative dreams and settle for whatever is easier. Don't do that. Writers write and read and learn. Do all of that.
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Must-read books for writers.
When it comes to stimulating creativity, there is no better book than, The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.
Whether your art takes the form of writing, photography, entrepreneurship, painting, music or something else, this book is a non-negotiable must-read for all artists. And if you've been away from your art for a while, this book will help you release what's blocking your creativity (even if what's blocking you has nothing to do with art.) This book has taken me on a spiritual and creative healing journey, giving me strength, courage, and peace whether dealing with an inner emptiness, the end of a marriage (both of them), the death of my parents and starting life over. This book is life changing.
You won't be reading this book in one sitting, either. Instead, you'll read a chapter a week and move through various exercises including daily morning pages and a weekly artist date. Don't question these assignments and don't skip them. Not ever. You'll thank me later, I promise.
And while this isn't a must-read book for writers, it's a must-have. Get yourself a nice journal or three. One for writing morning pages; one to carry with you and jot down things that come to you throughout the day; and one for the nightstand – write down your wins at the end of each day and those thoughts that come to you in the middle of the night.
First-up is another must-have (and read) book for writers and entrepreneurs. Steven Pressfield's The War of Art. It's the struggles (internal blocks) others cannot see, whether it's living with chronic pain, self-doubt, anxiety, or the fear of putting ourselves out there that have the potential to stop us from achieving our dreams.
“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance. And if we had to sum it all up in one word, that word would be Resistance.” – Steven Pressfield
This little book is gold and it's a quick read. Pressfield is masterful at helping us understand how to defeat resistance and break through the blocks to our creativity. This is the book you start with. Mark it up, use your highlighter and read it often. Seriously. Read this book regularly.Resistance is the enemy!Click To Tweet
And keep reading. . . Next up by Pressfield is Turning Pro.
This book will challenge you to see yourself clearly, ditching the lies you've been telling yourself. It will inspire you. If you're not doing the work you've dreamed of; if you know you're not living up to your potential, Turning Pro will help you understand why and what to do about it.
And none of it will make a difference in your life if you don't do the work.
Do The Work by Steven Pressfield is a field guide to your project, book, endeavor, life. This must-read book completes our trifecta. So whether you're dreaming of writing the next great American novel, creating a profitable blog or starting a business, this book is your accountability partner. Read it. And do the work!
I have a lot more books on my list of must-reads for writers, but these are the ones to start with. It's not going to do you any good to learn about mechanics of writing, how to tell a good story, or blog for profit if your creativity is blocked and you're not willing to do the work.
If you've read through this list and are already coming up with reasons why you don't need to read these books, you are experiencing Resistance in all its self-sabotaging glory.
Are you letting Resistance win?