Writer's Block: Saving the Best for When You're Famous

Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 11:47
Hollywood Walk of Fame Star - jtfmulder - Flickr

How many of you faced this dilemma: You have this amazing idea for a blog post, article, book, etc, but you currently don’t have enough traffic or a large enough following to get any mileage out of it. Do you punt it until the unknown future? Or do you publish it now and suffer the emotional heartbreak of no one caring enough to stop on by and see your work?

Congratulations, you’re facing facet of writer’s block.

The Lies

There are many facets or lies to this conundrum. Let’s start with the obvious:

  • You get one shot to write about this topic.
  • If you write about it again, you’re rehashing it.
  • If you rehash it, you’re not being creative.
  • If you’re not being creative, what the hell are you doing?

And so on and so on…

The Reality

  • Many authors will write about the same topic over and over again.
  • These authors will often target different facets of the larger theme.
  • Readers will often require multiple exposures to new material in order to buy into and use it.
  • You have to start somewhere.

Tips to Overcome This Block

  1. Write anyway. You can’t build a following if you’re not getting out there.
  2. Connect. Find those who would be most interested or helped by this piece of writing.
  3. Chunk it down. You don’t have to write the entire book. Post some tidbits and see if you really have an audience.
  4. Revisit. Come back a year from now and write on the same topic with your new perspectives.
  5. Be realistic. Chance are, one amazing piece is not going to make or break your career.
  6. Be consistent. Building a platform is a far more realistic long term way of achieving success.
  7. Write anyway. Find something else to talk about if you still want to save this one idea.

Don’t Wait

It’s a catch 22. Those who hold back their best until they are famous may not get there.

Besides, like the experts, you can always do it again (better) next year.


Hollywood Walk of Fame picture by jtfmulder used under the creative commons. Maybe someday, he'll become famous.

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About Rick Manelius

Quick Stats: CTO of Contact Mapping. Author of Winning the Lottery Within. Graduated from MIT in '03 (BS) and '09 (PhD). Life hacker and peak performance enthusiast. This blog is my experiment in creative writing, self-expression, and sharing what I've learned along my journey. For more information, read my full bio here or contact me.