Foreword Reviews

How to Break Writer’s Block Today and Where to Get Ideas

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

This guide will be illuminating not just for writers, but for anyone trying to unleash more creative and productive energy.

How to Break Writer’s Block Today and Where to Get Ideas by N. M. Beguesse is not your typical book on beating writer’s block. Whereas other books suggest moving through a creative block with a series of writing prompts, this book dives deep into the creative process and the fundamental role of stories in our lives.

From the start, the book takes a unique approach to a well-covered topic by redefining writer’s block as a misdirection of the writer’s playful energy and by redefining stories as the transferring of emotion. The text then introduces tools and techniques to capitalize on energy and emotions. Lastly, it centers on how to best generate new ideas by identifying parts of a narrative with intentional emotions, like fear or sympathy.

Using the author’s personal experiences as well as anecdotes from the creative processes of renowned authors and creators, How to Break Writer’s Block Today and Where to Get Ideas is effective at repositioning writer’s block as a misdirection of creative energy. For instance, it presents the fact that Beethoven composed beautiful music even after he was stricken deaf as an analogy for the blind trust that writers should place in their inner child’s playful creative energy.

Although the text contains minor punctuation errors, it is otherwise clearly written, with good flow, solid sentence structures, and strong development of ideas. When expounding on the idea of writing as a joyful activity, the text argues, “If the penalty for failing is too high, your inner child will decide writing a book is the opposite of fun.” At other times, the text includes more literary flair, as when it advises writers who are trying to find new ideas to look out for situations in everyday life where “you feel that little guitar string in your heart vibrate.”

Beyond its fresh approach and clear writing, the guidebook is effective because of its series of concrete tools and techniques for writers to follow. For instance, it introduces a “Joy Scale” and a “Productivity Formula” as ways of making sure that writing is more enticing to writers than the activities that often distract them. The text includes rudimentary drawings, flow charts, and diagrams to help illustrate how these tools can alleviate writer’s block.

How to Break Writer’s Block Today and Where to Get Ideas stands out among similar guidebooks because it maintains focus on writers’ common stumbling blocks—distractions, hesitance to edit or rewrite, self-confidence, and coming up with new ideas—while also focusing on process. For that reason, it will be illuminating not just for writers, but for anyone trying to unleash more creative and productive energy.

Reviewed by Amanda McCorquodale

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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