To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Full title: Conquering Writer's Block and Summoning Inspiration: Learn to Nurture a Lifestyle of Creativity by K.M. Weiland
I’m possibly not the best person to review this book, because I don’t really suffer from writer’s block. If I get stuck on one story, I go work in another for a while until the solution comes to me. At any given time, I may have 4-8 major projects on the go and another 10 or more on the ‘back burner’. But what works for my ADD brain may not work for other people, and especially, folks on tight deadlines who MUST get one specific story written.
However… I’m not 100% sure K.M. Weiland is the right person to WRITE this book, since she quite plainly confesses in it that she doesn’t believe in writer’s block either. What she does believe in is hard work to achieve results, and in this book she offers a host of practical tips for authors to get their creative juices flowing, no matter what.
The key point I took away from the book - and the one I’ve found works best for me as a writer - is preparation is key and procrastination is death. Get prepared. Plan what you’re going to write. Think about it during your non-writing time, and when you sit down at the keyboard you’ll hopefully have words ready to flow.
As for procrastination - well, it should be obvious that if you never start, you’ll never finish. If you’re a serial procrastinator, there are some useful and writing-specific tools here to help you conquer that, but as usual a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Write one sentence. Write for five minutes. Do it every day and eventually, you’ll have a finished novel. Most of all, you have to believe in yourself as a writer, and accept that first drafts always suck. Just get that first draft down so you can start the process of turning your story into something that shines.
As I said at the top, this book was never going to be all that useful for me. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t work for you. If you need strategies to beat writer’s block and get yourself into that writing groove, this could very well be the most useful book you’ll ever read. I’m giving it four stars.
In this title, K.M. Weiland draws on a combination of own, hard-earned experiences and the advice of well-known authors to create a combination of useful tips and relatable stories. Yes, the book deals with the struggles of being a writer - but that is the point. Indeed, I would be far less convinced by advice given from someone who doesn't know the true depths of the problem they're talking about, in the first place, but K.M. Weiland evidently does.
I particularly like the parts of the book which emphasise the importance of not only writing consistently, but relaxing consistently, thus being able to unleash the hidden creativity found in your subconscious. Yes, writers need to write. But writers also need time to unwind and allow their brains to do some backstage creative problem-solving. In this day and age of constant pressure for productivity and with so many sources of advice out there constantly urging us to action, it's important to remember that relative inaction, too, can be very useful.
I will definitely be keeping this on my e-reader to return to for reminders of how to recharge my creative forces.
As someone who is trying to tear down her writer's block with bare and bloodied fingers, I was delighted to discover this book by KM Weiland. It is a shortish but engaging read on the subject that plagues many creative writers. Weiland takes the reader through the common causes of feeling blocked but doesn't just tell you to put your bum on a seat (although she may mention that too). She looks at issues such as how to be inspired daily and optimise your imagination. She considers writing antagonists such as fear of failure and depression and gives practical hints on how to counteract blocks to our creativity. The thing that touched me most however was her emphasis on joy. Joy infuses the pages of Weiland's fiction and it was no surprise to find that she makes joy a focus as she writes. She says: 'Don't ever forget to embrace the ecstasy of writing and remember what it's like to write with joy... TEach yourself to write with joy. Focus on the thrill of discovering the germ of a new story idea. Bask in the energy of characters who live and breathe on the page. Throw yourself a major party on completion of every novel... We are writers. We are allowed to see the world in a way few others do. Fulfilment is ours for the taking, if only we can disperse the joy-killing demons that lurk beneath our desks.' I would recommend 'Conquering Writer's Block' to anyone whose writing life needs a practical and inspiring vitamin B12 shot.
It was enlightening to read that most writers have the same ups and downs, good days and bad days. Most experience days when inspiration isn't there. Persistence is key, showing up is key, remembering the joy the moments of being in the zone give you is key. Decide why you want to write, what success looks like to you, and remembe writing is a gift. Find the joy in it every day and change your mindset when the negative thoughts roll in. Ms. Weiland also has some practical ideas to bust writers block like asking why or what if, adding a plot twist, adding a new character, or trying a different point of view.
If you've ever convinced yourself that your writing is worthless, read this book. If you're stuck and have given up hope that that breakthrough idea will ever be found, read this book.
K.M. Weiland writes with honest words. Enjoyable and writerly, yet somehow she managed to make me feel like I was talking over coffee and brownies with someone who knows, someone who's been there. The strategies written in this book are insightful to the aspiring writer, as well as a soothing reminder to veterans. This isn't a book you read once and toss away, but rather, it is something to get you through the unavoidable lows of writing so that you might claim that high once more.
This book (based off the CD of the same name) has reminded me again and again that it's okay to enjoy the gift of writing, and has helped me to tranquilize that inner critic crunching the bones of my confidence.
I've read a few books about conquering writer's block and this is the best ever. The first chapter opens by telling the writer wannabe to live life mindfully, giving attention to the subtle details of subconscious mind knitting together external circumstances and the quest for meaning. For me the second chapter, How to Optimize Your Imagination, really hits home. For any would-be buyers wishing to evaluate this book, just view the table of contents. That will tell you everything you need to know.
I will admit the first sentences in the Introduction threw me: "If you're like most writers, coming up with story ideas is rarely a problem. More than likely your brain bubbles...with ideas....I've yet to meet a writer who decided I'd like to be an author -- and then sat down to brainstorm ideas." I'm the writer she never met - I have no bubbling pot of ideas - I write to emulate the greats that gave me pleasure as a child. I used to daydream - but as Wieland says in the second chapter, in the hurry and stress of adult life, I lost my daydreams. Or rather, they became mundane. Boring. I liked other sentences much better: "Are you called to be a writer.? ...Chances are if you're reading this, you have been called." And with the techniques Wieland describes, some of discipline and some of art, she gives us the wherewithal to answer that call.
I can't agree with everything in this quick read, but there is so much in here that has made me think. Things I had not considered before. I'm the kind of writer who will work through a scene repeatedly for a few days and then I sit down and write 2000 words in 45 minutes. As such, as much as I would like to write every day, I am much than productive writing every 2-3 days. However, if I don't keep that rhythm going, I find it may be 2-3 weeks and not 2-3 days. Great ideas in here on how to get back on track.
This is a fantastic book for any aspiring writer. The thing I love the most is the loads of practical advice. There are two quotes from the book I'd like to mention. The first is "The power of good fiction arises from the passion of the author". I believe your passion as a writer is your starting point. Everything builds on passion. The second quote is "Make the fight against writer’s block proactive instead of defensive, and you’ll find the odds are almost always stacked in your favor" . If you can master the art of being proactive against writer's block then you can stop just reacting to all the crazy stuff that gets in the way of productivity. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to write. Great stuff.
So I picked up this gem when I was going through a legit bout of blockage, and I was so glad I did. Weiland's books and website are always helpful to me, and this is no exception. It does a nice job of getting to the bottom of the problem and figuring out how to pull yourself out and get to writing comfortably again. She addresses how to find inspiration for creativity as well as how to cope with self-doubt--especially that moment when you think the story isn't going anywhere and perhaps you should quit. For me, her encouraging common sense reasons to keep going were especially helpful.
In the ocean of opinions on writer's block, K.M. Weiland's approach is the smartest advice I have seen in a very long time. K.M. is aware she does not have a formula to solve writer's block, but she does have some very actionable methods for discouraging writer's block and encouraging writer's block. More than just a book of writing prompts, "Conquering Writer's Block and Summoning Inspiration" provides real insight into why we get blocked, and how we get unstuck. If you're going to have a book on writer's block, do yourself a favor and make this one a priority purchase.