118. 15 Writing Prompts to Defeat Writer’s Block and Finish Your Book

If you ever get stuck in your writing, please know you’re not alone.

The majority of authors experience some amount of writing block as they write.

Some are so blocked, they can’t even get started!

Use these 15 writing prompts to get over writer’s block and keep writing when you feel stuck.

We can argue the existence of writer’s block all day. (I’d argue against it.)

But if you’re experiencing it, then writer’s block is real to you. Don’t stay in it. Choose a prompt, and keep writing.

For more writing tips and inspiration, follow me on Instagram @candiceldavis.

Mentioned in This Episode

Authors Ignited: Group Coaching Program for Nonfiction Authors

Jump-Start: A free guide to help you jump-start your nonfiction book.

Complete Author Coaching (1:1 Coaching)

Episode Transcript

Hey there and welcome to Nothing but the Words. I’m your author coach, Candice L Davis.

I hope your week and your writing are both going well.

Before we dive into today’s episode, I want to talk about my current soapbox, and here it is. 

If you love a book, if you benefit from it in any way, if it entertains you, or if you walk away from it with one idea that you can use, leave the author a review.

I don’t say this because you owe the author anything. 

You absolutely do not.

You paid for the book.

You got the value of the book.

The transaction is over.

But here’s the thing: selling books isn’t easy.

If the author already has 2500 reviews, will your review make a difference?

Who knows? I’d be much richer if I knew exactly how the algorithm works.

But I would ask you to leave the review anyway.

Most authors appreciate every review they get, whether they have 3 or 3000.

Trust me. When you publish your book, those reviews will mean a lot to you too.

And they’re not just to feed the author’s ego.

Many people actually read the reviews before they make a buying decision.

Even if they don’t read the reviews, seeing a book has a number of reviews is social proof that helps people say yes to buying it.

And don’t forget the Amazon algorithm rewards books that get more reviews.

Obviously, sales count too, but reviews make a difference.

Take the 5 minutes, log on to Amazon, and leave a review for the books you love.

If you didn’t buy it on Amazon, leave a review there anyway and also leave one with the bookseller you purchased from if they have a review option.

I can’t stress enough what a difference your review can make.

Okay. On to our topic—writing prompts.

Recently, a coaching client reached out to me to say she was struggling to just start writing.

We’ve laid out a clear vision for her book, and she has a writing plan.

But whenever she sat down to write, she froze.

She couldn’t get past her writer’s block.

She couldn’t generate the words that would become sentences and paragraphs.

She just couldn’t do it.

I know she’s not alone in this.

Even after you’re well into writing your book, these moments can happen.

So what do you do when you’re stuck?

In previous episodes, I’ve talked about how you can create a writing routine that triggers your brain to get in the zone.

I also talked about how you can make space for your creativity by consuming less of other people’s content and finding moments of silence.

Today, I want to share something you can use right in the moment when you’re having a writing crisis.

Before I give you the prompts, let me give you some best practices to make the most of them.

First, pick one prompt and commit to it.

Don’t bounce back and forth trying to find the best one. They all work.

Second, choose one small, specific element of your outline to write about. 

It’s really important to choose a specific topic to address. Otherwise, you’ll get some writing time in, but your content might be unusable.

Then, third and last, set a timer for 20 minutes and keep writing until it goes off.

And if you have more to say, just keep writing.

If you’re listening while you drive or run or walk, no worries.

You can find these prompts at CandiceLDavis.com/119. Transcripts are usually available one day after the episode is released.

These prompts are primarily for nonfiction, but you can really use them for whatever you’re writing.

In each of these prompts, X is that specific topic you picked to write about.

15 Prompts to Keep You Writing

#1. What I wish people knew about X is

#2. What the average person gets wrong about X is

#3. The scary thing about X is

#4. The beautiful thing about X is

#5. What almost no one knows about X is

#6. I’m writing about X because I want (someone) to do/feel/know (something)

#7. My favorite story about X is

#8. It terrifies me to say this about X, but

#9. What most experts get wrong about X is

#10. My biggest challenge with X was (or my client’s biggest challenge)

#11. My greatest success with X was

#12. What the biggest expert (name) gets wrong about X is 

#13. I agree with the biggest expert (name) about X and also people should know

#14. People who disagree with me about X would say

#15. What I used to think about X before I learned better was

Prompts aren’t magical. You’ll still have to revise what you write to shape it for your book.

And sometimes, what you produce won’t end up in your book at all.

But they are a surefire way to get over writer’s block, and start writing again.

If you try one of these prompts, DM me on Instagram @candiceldavis, and let me know how they worked for you. 

That’s all for this week’s episode, my friend.

Thanks for listening to Nothing but the Words. I’m your book coach Candice L. Davis, and I’ll see you next time.

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