How to Break Through Writer’s Block: Interview Yourself!

By: Corey Blake in Book Writing
on July 13th, 2020

Whether you are just starting to write your book, or you've started but somehow are stuck in your tracks, every writer sometimes gets blocked. One method you might consider is this one: Interview Yourself.

Before you start, give some thought to your subject (whether this is a memoir, a non-fiction business book project, or a piece of fiction). Spend the first few minutes asking yourself the questions you would love to find answers for within your writing.

Below are some sample questions to get you started, depending on the type of book you are writing (note that the similarities for all these genres are staggering!).

Writing Your Memoir

1. What’s a major experience that shaped your thinking?

2. How did you see the world prior to the experience?

3. What’s an example of how you lived before?

4. When was the moment your eyes were opened?

5. Who was there and why were they fighting for your new world view?

6. Who was against you changing because it would impact their lives and how?

7. What was everyone who was there wearing?

8. Explore something sensory about someone in the room (such as how they were standing, what their skin looked or smelled like, or the way they were breathing).

9. What did the room look like, smell like, sound like?

10. What moment inspired the shift in understanding?

11. Where did you feel your initial awakening (heart, mind, soul, gut) and what was that experience like?

12. How did this new awareness shape the way you saw the world after that experience?

13. How did this new awareness change your behavior (give an example)?

Writing A Business Book

1. What intersection of work and life created a new opportunity in your leadership thinking?

2. How had you approached work before (offer an example)?

3. Who was part of your transformative experience?

4. What was pushing the other person or people to push up against your previous way of thinking (name their motives)?

5. What was pushing others to help support a lack of change in you?

6. In what ways did you fight the change?

7. What obstacles did you have to overcome to change?

8. Typically we try to make sense of change before we buy-in; how did your head rationalize the possible need for change (or against it)?

9. How long before you felt it in your body (heart, soul) and how did that present itself?

10. What internal conflict did you have to face to overcome your blind spot?

11. What past beliefs did you have to let go of to move forward?

12. How did your change make itself apparent through your behavior?

13. How do you feel about the change?

Writing A Fiction Book or Novel

1. What pivotal character flaw does your character have to confront in order to change by the end of your book?

2. In what ways is that current flaw getting in the way of your character’s life?

3. Which other character(s) want/need this character to stay the same?

4. Which other character(s) want/need this character to change?

5. What is at stake if this character fails to change?

6. What other obstacles to changing exist for this character?

7. What is the pivotal moment that will create the opportunity to make a different choice for this character?

8. Who will be involved in this moment and why?

9. How does the moment present itself (paint the picture)?

10. What is said in the moment?

11. What is felt?

12. Are there ways you could raise the stakes for this character?

Get Help From A Friend

If you are still having trouble, try having a friend ask you these questions and record your discussion for listening later. Not only will you hear your own answers, but it may spark some additional questions.

As always, I hope these are valuable tools. If these are not working for you, consider that it might be helpful to hire a book writing coach. For more information on our Coaching for Book Writing, click the link below or get in touch with us.

And remember, there's no "right" or "wrong" answer to break through or create your work of art. You are on your own journey.

Think you might be experiencing writer's block? Take our quiz How Bad is Your Writer's Block?

For more information on our Coaching for Book Writing, click here or use this link to contact us directly.