Excerpt: Dealing With Writer’s Block

This is an excerpt from The Gigabytes Guide to Writing Second Edition on sale in paperback and e-book on this site.

The first thing to know about writer’s block is that the condition we call “writer’s block” is not unique to writers. When software developers experience the same thing we don’t call it “programmer’s block”.

The second thing you need to know is that is isn’t real. Seriously. It is not an ailment, a condition, or an affliction. You won’t find it in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual as a mental disorder however, you can find a book written 30 years ago called Understanding Writer’s Block: A Therapist’s Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment. The first sentence of the blurb?

“This innovative book explains writer’s block as a symptom of a larger disorder.”
Source: Google Books

Allow me to save you the time reading this 195 page “only to find out you aren’t crazy” book. Yes, writers and creative people can get stumped sometimes and we call it writer’s block because some Austrian psychologist living in New York named Edmund Bergler coined the term in 1947. Yeah, Bergler. Not Hemingway, Bronte, or Verne.
Source: ncbi.nim.nih.gov article PMC7965145

The long and the short of it is that writer’s block is a symptom of a larger issue. While chronic writer’s block may be caused by a mental disorder, your writer’s block may just mean you are tired, sick, or need a new source of inspiration. In other words, rest or do something else for a while. (Incidentally, have you watched the British version of Ghosts? I bet you haven’t.)

Pro Tip: There is literally no rule saying you have to write as the reader will read it. If you are feeling stuck at a certain point, stop writing, create a new document, and start writing a section that you are more inspired with. You can fill in the gaps later. It may even be easier to do so because all you have to do is connect the dots.

The good news here is, not only do you not have to write in sequence, what if I told you that you don’t have to write parts of your book at all?

I often skip parts of the writing and just make notes in brackets like these: <insert yet another joke about Ghosts on Paramount+>. I also use markers like xxx to bookmark the spot where I leave off writing and editing. Those marks are not often used in writing, so you are able to use your word processor’s search feature during editing to search for these sections and fill them in.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (of Sherlock Holmes fame) anecdotally started with the end of his mystery books and wrote the plot backwards. Plotting backwards is a legitimate technique used by mystery writers. So, you are allowed to skip around when writing your saucy romance novel (we all know what parts you really want to write anyway).

Use of “Artificial Intelligence” in Writing

This is an excerpt from The Gigabytes Guide to Writing available on this site in paperback and e-book.

Let’s start off by calling it what it is: a large language model chat bot. Not only is it not artificially intelligent, it is well known for making factual mistakes and outputting terrible writing. “AI” is effectively a marketing term.

The temptation to use chat bots to write some or all of a work is great for any writer – particularly if they are struggling. Without getting into how these systems actually work, my advice as a writer and as a technologist is: Don’t.

The reasons are, quite frankly, both numerous and serious. First off, copyright law is not settled when it comes to chat bots and writing. If you let a chat bot write any part of your work for you, it is entirely possible you could find yourself on the end of a lawsuit over the rights and royalties to your work by the company that developed the chat bot. As ridiculous as it sounds, these companies may legitimately have a case against you.

Second, there are many publishing houses that will ban you if you try to submit a work that was written by AI – even in part. This could limit your audience and publishing options.

Third, flooding the market with poorly-written, self-published dreck – even if human edited – hurts the entire writer / reader community. If readers spend their hard-earned money on a terrible book that isn’t up to standards, then there is the potential to lose that reader forever. One bad book can be dismissed as a fluke, but if book after book is terrible, a reader might wonder why they are wasting their time and money.

Finally, if you can’t write for yourself, put this book down now and find another hobby. For example, I hear this show, Ghosts, is pretty compelling.

J. Tordsen on The Author’s Voice

J. Tordsen will be on The Author’s Voice Podcast with Donnie Lansdale on September 14, 2023.

He will be discussing past projects like the recently released The Gigabooks Guide to $0 Publishing, The Gigabytes Guide to Writing, and the upcoming The 8 Fates of Okteveos.

To listen, you can search for The Author’s Voice with Donnie Lansdale anywhere you get your podcasts.

Guides now available on Barnes and Noble

Gigabooks Press is now publishing its original guides on Barnes and Noble.

The Gigabytes Guide to Writing and The Gigabooks Guide to $0 Publishing e-books just went live on Barnes and Noble today. Gigabooks Press currently publishes to Amazon and Google Play Books.

The Gigabytes Guide to Writing is available here.

The Gigabooks Guide to $0 Publishing is available here.

The Gigabytes Guide to Writing now available on Google Play Books

Not a fan of Amazon? The Gigabytes Guide to Writing e-book is now available on Google Play Books.

The Gigabytes Guide to Writing is a lighthearted road map to your book writing journey

A writer with over 25 years of professional writing experience, J. Tordsen escorts you down the path less traveled by other guides as he takes this book from concept to published work – without the use of chat bots – in only 7 days.

Covering everything from the first draft to effective marketing strategy, this book mixes both wisdom and wisecracks as it takes you through an overview of the entire self-publishing process – all told from the author’s unique perspective.

With an emphasis on writing technology, literary world building, and effectively combating writer’s block, this guide can help you avoid the pitfalls on the writer’s journey.

An easy and enjoyable read, The Gigabytes Guide to Writing can show you how to enjoy the ride to becoming a self-published author.

Get it on Google Play Books: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=SbG7EAAAQBAJ&pli=1

Book Announcement: The 8 Fates of Okteveos

the 8 fates of okteveos

the 8 fates of okteveos

Who holds the gods to account when a comedy of errors turns into a life of tragedy?

Okteveos was a strange case. His ability to sense the emotions of others with almost telepathic insight left him unable to feel his own. As a result, a series of mishaps, accidents, and death surround him throughout his life. One day, the powers that be had enough and destroy him and the island he inhabited in a fiery volcanic explosion over 3600 years ago.

Now, he faces judgement and punishment from the very architects of his entire existence. Is Okteveos the master of his misdeeds and deserving of damnation or is he the victim of the fates that caused the tragedies that befell him? The answer to that question will take Okteveos on a journey through time he’s never known and lives he could never imagine.

Artwork by https://facebook.com/RoarTjorhomsArts

Source: https://www.facebook.com/j.tordsen

New Author Publishes Small E-book Guide for Writers in a Week

Gigabooks Logo

It is nothing short of a rousing success. A brand new author set out to create a non-AI generated e-book from concept to publication in less than 7 days and did it. J. Tordsen, an experienced but unpublished writer, wrote, designed, edited and published their first book in 7 days.

The e-book titled The Gigabytes Guide to Writing is a light read at only 31 pages that mixes wit and wisdom from veteran writer, J. Tordsen. It is billed as “a lighthearted road map to your book writing journey”

He writes on his author’s page: “It is done! Book submitted to KDP and is under review. If all goes well, it should be live in less than 72 hours!”

“The approval was faster than anticipated,” he notes, “and there are a few minor issues to correct in the description but overall I am pleased with the result.”

One of his BETA readers even commented: “The book promoted some confidence to write as someone who never thought of writing.”

“That was exactly what I was hoping for,” J. Tordsen noted. “I wrote it specifically for new writers to inspire confidence in their writing by taking some of the guesswork out of it without getting into the weeds.”

The e-book is for sale on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BWVVB6KF

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