When a Writer isn’t Writing – a book to unblock you.

10540543_888080964538719_7053886549777897893_nCan a book teach you how to write?  No, although you could argue that reading a lot of books can teach you how to write, as you absorb all those good words by osmosis.  Sometimes, though, it is helpful to have a guide and some words of advice and encouragement – especially if you are at the beginning of your writing journey or struggling with where to go next.

I am writing a series of reviews of writing books and hope you find them helpful.  This book is about the emotional side of writing – or not writing.

WHEN A WRITER ISN’T WRITING: How to Beat Your Blocks, Be Published and Find Your Flow by Jenny Alexander

Jenny Alexander is a prolific writer, writing for children and adults on a wide topic of subjects, both fiction and non-fiction.  As she says herself ‘I have always been a very happy writer’ and writer’s block doesn’t seem – at first glance – something she would have experience of.  This excellent book proves me wrong.

We’re prone to saying ‘writer’s block’ as if it’s something homogenous – easy to explain but hard to overcome, but Jenny has split out the different elements that might be stopping you from writing as you want.

This book examines why you can’t start, what to do about it – why you’re stuck in the middle, what happens when you panic, avoiding redrafting and all the way up to publication.


The publishing and self-publishing information was a little pedestrian – and I would recommend you get other books that focus on those elements – and I wasn’t very keen on the cover which is busy and didn’t seem that relevant.

Those minor gripes aside, this is an invaluable addition to your writer’s bookshelf.  I have recommended it to several authors and will be re-reading it myself as I need to.


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November 27, 2015