Writing a Book to Find Your Message
“Basically, stop the thinking because the thinking needs to happen on the page.” —Steve Vannoy
Have you ever felt stuck while writing? Whether it’s a blog, essay, short story, or novel, sometimes we just feel stuck and can’t move forward. Steve Vannoy and I are here today to talk about how you can get unstuck and step back into your writing genius this year.
On today’s episode of “Authors Who Lead,” we talk honestly about why I felt stuck writing the third book in our fiction series and the ways I’m fixing it. We also discuss what it means to write fiction with purpose.
If you haven’t already heard the other three parts of “Authors Who Lead,” where Steve and I talk about our journey co-writing our Cinder Bottom fiction series, then check out Episode 186, Episode 193, and Episode 211.
I’m confident that just about every author at some point feels stuck. I don’t believe in what most people call “writer’s block,” because we aren’t truly blocked. Just like a plumber can’t get “plumber’s block,” we aren’t blocked—we’re just temporarily stuck.
In those quiet moments alone in front of our computers, we may feel like we can’t move on. The first thing we need to do is figure out why we feel stuck. Whether you’re an author who outlines or one who “pantses” their stories, you will have times when writing is hard.
In my case, I finally figured out that my “stuck-ness” came from being bored or uninspired by my writing. It wasn’t that what I was writing was boring—it was just a hard time in my life. Our father, Smokey, by who the books were inspired, passed away during the writing of the third book. The emotions were hard to deal with, and I had even more of a desire for the book to be “good.” I had to remind myself that whether my readers find my book “good” is not up to me.
The second thing you may need to do is get some distance from your story. I took a short break to figure out why I was stuck and what to do. The third piece of advice is to “think on the page” instead of in your head and tell the best story you can at this moment. Now you can sit down and write, just like I’m going to step back into my story and find my way through it.
Fiction with Purpose
“Tell those boys to keep writing those books” was the last message we received from our dad before he passed away in September. We started out three years ago listening to and recording his stories about his childhood in Virginia. We wanted some way to memorialize his life and the era he lived in, and now we have three books that embody that purpose.
I tell my authors that books aren’t words; they’re the messages inside of you. Even fiction novels can have a message and a purpose. They don’t have to be accurate or even perfect; they just need to be your truth. In this podcast, I share that “telling the truth is about being honest and vulnerable in the humanity of the thing you’re writing.”
Steve and I also share:
- That we are all natural storytellers
- How an author community can help you get unstuck
- That writing a fictional book can be transformational
- How our writing programs can help you get out of your head and write
- Our special 90 days for $90 opportunity to join our “Authors Who Lead” community
I’m so grateful that you listened to this podcast. I appreciate anybody who leaves a review; it really helps inspire us to keep contributing and giving content here.
What was your biggest takeaway from this episode? Do you want to write a book? Are you feeling stuck or uninspired? In the comments, share your biggest challenge in writing your book.
That’s all for this week. If you have a message inside you that needs to be written, know that you can write and publish the book that’s been on your heart. Don’t delay—get out of your head, put words on the page today, and make a movement with your message!