Outlining can reduce writer’s block. That’s the information that I got from Writing the Damned Book by Stacy Nelson. And it makes sense to me.
I’ve gone in circles planning a depression book. I did severely restrict my activities to allow me to write the book. I resigned two boards of directors, I left my therapist, canceled a writer’s group and so on. It opened up lots of time in my schedule.
The way outlining can reduce writer’s block is simple. You get the planning done from the beginning rather than fitful sleep presenting ideas that you have to write down in the middle of the night.
Another advantage is you can write anywhere in the outline. You can write back to front or start in the middle. You never get stuck. There is always something that appeals to you, no matter where in the manuscript it may like.
Also you’ll know what you are missing before you write. That opposed to figuring out what the manuscript is missing when you’ve written dozens of pages, or worse, completely the manuscript knowing something is missing but you have no idea what.
An outline will get you to complete the manuscript because you can see the overview of the entire book before you start. You can know where you are going because you have started a project knowing the end, the beginning and the middle of the book.
Ms, Nelson also suggests blank paper. If found a sketch notebook at my local supermarket, Fred Meyer’s. Then I found a lot of different ink colors, Papermate, and it was half price at Office Max.
I am looking forward to outlining the book before I start. That will make it less formal an undertaking. I plan to outline the book this next week and start writing the week after next. So I’ll wave goodbye to my block in writing.