For today’s “Beat Writer’s Block” Wednesday, I’ve got some great titles that have really helped me stick with my family history and memoir writing projects and family journals.
First, Malcom Gladwell’s book Outliers demonstrates the importance of practice, practice, practice. Even if you weren’t born with writing talent, Gladwell shows how you can obtain it by simply practicing:
Gladwell’s book lays out a simple formula for becoming an “expert” in any endeavor, even if you aren’t a prodigy or born genius. His formula includes 10,000 hours of practice in the art/science/craft you hope to master. Do 10,000 hours of writing practice sound impossible? Read Gladwell’s book and you will find out how entirely possible it can be!
NYT bestselling author Brandon Sanderson tells how he raked up the 10,000 hours recommended in Gladwell’s book:
From Sanderson’s web site: “Brandon began writing in earnest, taking a job as the night desk clerk at a hotel because they allowed him to write while at work. During this era he went to school full time during the day, worked nights to pay for his schooling, and wrote as much as he could. He says it made for a rather dismal social life, but he finished seven novels during his undergraduate years. Brandon submitted many manuscripts for publication . . . and accumulated quite a pile of rejection letters. In spite of this he continued to be a dedicated writer.”
But in order to achieve the 10,000 hours necessary to qualify for the”expert writer” status as explained in Gladwell’s book, you have to overcome writer’s block, right? Well, here is the book you need to overcome family history/personal history writer’s block:
Thinking About Memoir is a tiny, five-dollar book; this little gem is chock full of writing prompts and questions about your life that will really help you stop procrastinating and start writing! I turn to it whenever I find myself staring at the screen and feeling clueless about how to proceed with my memoirs/ancestoirs.
And remember–writer’s block doesn’t actually exist, as this blog post proves.