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Writer’s Block? Your Reader Can Help You.

Your Book Writing Coach

Writer’s block doesn’t have to keep you stuck. Our emerging authors are on a roll. Several people reported–in Bring Your Book to Life class Wednesday and this morning–that they’ve written several chapters in this week alone–one wrote four!

3 Writing Secrets to Get Unstuck

Here are a few writing secrets that worked for them to get the writing done and escape writer’s block:

* Scheduling exact times for writing, such as Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9-11, in their calendars

* Checking in with their buddy, me or the group forum if they need support

Time in nature can refresh you and support creative flow.

* Refreshing and rejuvenating before writing: a walk in nature, meditation, listening to music

Return to Your Writing Vision; Let Your Reader Help You!

One student in today’s class had a hard time writing this week. I reminded her to go back to the vision/intention statement she created in class the first week–why was she passionate about writing this book? What difference would her book make for readers?

I suggested she get over writer’s block by returning to an exercise of envisioning her reader and writing to a very specific reader she imagines (or even a real person she knows who is the core audience (or demographic) for this book).

*  Imagine your reader who can’t pay her bills until she reads your money book and learns how to save.

*  Picture that person who’s afraid of public speaking and wins his first toastmaster’s award after reading your book.

*  Think about that mom who finally gets a good night’s sleep and a well-rested toddler when she learns your ground-breaking sleep system.

Imagine a specific reader and write to that person. You’ll get out of your ego and into your heart and the writing will flow.

Write to that person as if you were having an intimate conversation or writing them a personal letter. Not only will the writing be more compelling when you imagine a specific reader, but when you think about someone else, you get out of your ego (where resistance resides) and into your heart.

And that is how you can beat writer’s block.

Looking for more tips? Carrie Barron, MD, author of The Creativity Cure, shares her tips for beating writer’s block.

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

Reader Interactions


  1. elizabeth spring says

    Hi Lisa~
    It made me smile to read this, espcially about writing to your reader, as the book I’m working on has the “writing device” of writing letters to my Reader…who is named, and the book is essentially the correspondence between them. It’s a fine line to walk though… creative non-fiction can step over the line either way–towards story or towards teaching, and lose the real reader. So….I struggle with that dynamic, realizing now, that I must choose….ah…. teaching/self help or story memoir? Know of any writers who’ve done that successfully? ~elizabeth spring (Private Papers of a Reluctant Astrologer)

    • lisatener says

      I love your intriguing title. It hooks me! The most recent book I read with letters in it was Regarding the Fountain–a children’s book (3rd, 4th grade) but a very entertaining read that my son read over the summer as part of the summer reading program across Rhode Island.

  2. Kathi McKnight says

    Those are some wonderful ideas Lisa!! I was asked to speak at the Rocky Mountains Writer’s Summit in Colorado earlier this year on this very topic of writer’s block. Only I bring a new “slant” to the matter.

    The ancient science of graphology or handwriting analysis is so uncannily accurate it has been deemed downright mystical. As a master graphologist since 1991, one of the things I do, is to help people find their core block as it is revealed in their handwriting, then show them how to tweak it ever so slightly.

    Think about it… we all learned how to write exactly the same yet no 2 people write alike! Why is that? Because handwriting is brain writing.

    So as Napoleon Hill taught, Change your Thinking to Change Your Life, you can now change your writing to change your life. And when we do, we affect the neurotransmitters in the brain and much more.

    WHAT we write comes from the conscious mind, HOW we write comes from the subconscious mind and there are only four things that handwriting does not reveal.
    There are about 5,000 things that it does reveal, however.

    I help people discover the #1 core block at the heart of everything, per what I see in their handwriting. And it’s never what you think it is….we change that ole stinkin thinkin that lies so far beneath the surface to something most productive and voila, a paradigm shift happens.

    As a mild example… the letter t reveals over 30 different personality and character traits depending on how it is written. It can reveal who has confidence and high goals to whom may be staying in a worn out job or relationship too long. The nifty thing about ‘graphotherapy’ is that it’s a tangible way to connect and tap into the Body Mind and Spirit Connection.

    One client’s handwriting, her n’s in particular showed she had a negative parent constantly talking in her head, sabotaging all she was doing and she could not move forward on her book. Once we identified the core block, she not only finished her book, but she dumped her toxic boyfriend. (True story!)

    Thanks for inviting me to comment Lisa. Love your work!

    Kathi McKnight
    (Handwriting Analysis: The Good, the “Un-good, and the Unexpected)

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