How I Broke Writer’s Block Part 1: The Story Behind the Book

Breaking Writer’s Block Part 1: Behind the Scenes

I did a thing–a big thing. I broke a two-year stint of writer’s block. As a romantic comedy novelist, I had hit a brick wall with my emotional connection to letting the words flow. Sure, I’d managed to prepare to write during that gargantuan span of time, but it was all busy work.

With multiple outlines for novels done and a plan in place to wrap up one series then start two more, I was all set. All my characters were holding their breath waiting … and waiting. I even had a partial manuscript—we’re talking 20k words—suspended in limbo like fruit cocktail in a Jell-O mold. What I just needed was my life to permit me to write unencumbered. I had endless notes, lines, scenes, even oodles of research done, but the words were trapped inside me bound by chaos, also known as, severe anxiety.

Writing has always been a balm to my soul, but during this awful stretch of hell on earth, it was like having someone offer me cheesecake when I have the stomach flu. I didn’t want to write even though it would be wonderful. I couldn’t let my lighthearted romantic stories become associated with the daily stress I was wrestling with due to circumstances in my life that were (and still are) beyond my control.

I tried all the typical writerly techniques and even some atypical ones to get back into the groove of writing despite my anxiety (which I’m still battling), and they helped me just enough for me to heed my friend’s advice on getting back to the basics with what I know. So, determined to tap into my teaching skills, I pulled up my big-girl pants, parked my bootie in a hotel room (long, hot story) and over the summer, I penned a How-To book.

Yes, I smashed my writer’s block with a How-To book. It’s worth repeating twice, because, even as I write this, I can’t believe it. I freaking can’t believe I’m sitting here typing this with yet another publication on Amazon! Is it ironic that I wrote a book about how to write in order to break my writer’s block? I’ll be writing a Part 2 blog on the techniques I used to bring myself to the threshold of writing this new book soon, I promise.

I’m a teacher by trade. I’ve got worksheets galore that I’ve created, as well as a full-blown smarty pants attitude that goes well with writing instructional materials. I crafted Come Write with Me: POETRY Workbook & Journal (For Teens & Adults) Vol 1 like I was sipping coffee and hanging with my invisible student. It was the best two months of anxiety-riddled fun I’d ever had with my imagination. As a result, the workbook is full of chatty ramblings, advice, quips, some of my gushy poetry, and I even loaded it with several QR codes that link to my blog with posts of additional content and exercises. Overall, this workbook & journal is sweet!

It took two months of writing everyday to accomplish this monumental feat in my life. I’m proud of the product. I’m proud of myself. I’ll be writing another blog about the techniques I used to bring me to the point that this workbook spilled out of me freely. It’ll be worth the read if you are or have ever been ‘stuck’ like me. Are you a writer? Does poetry matter to you? Would you like to learn how to write creatively starting with something simple like a poem? Are you a seasoned writer wishing to polish up on some poetic devices that you can tuck neatly into your work? I know the perfect book for you … come write with me.




A Lesson in METAPHOR

Metaphors got you all floating on air, sliding in and out of reveries, dancing on sunshine and rainbows? This darling poetic device can rock someone’s world or slip in between the cracks of anybody’s ordinary thoughts on paper.

Emily Dickinson nailed it with her take on hope. Of all her poems, this is easily in my top three. Her ability to capture exactly what we all think and feel then weave it into something so clipped and emotional … {sigh}.

Metaphors make great hooks for essays, fodder for existential proclamations, and, of course, sparkling nuggets of gold in an otherwise ordinary poem. For this exercise, wedge one of these bad boys into your verse and watch it go from interesting to provocative. Dig deep and let the words fly.

Here are some metaphorical phrases to get you started.

Metaphors to start a verse:

Their bed of lies …

Your heart of stone …

His iron will drove him to …

The open book that is her life …

Each chapter in his journey …

His words were food for his/her soul …

The storm inside her head kept …

His/her countenance was light and life …

Those words igniting the child’s imagination with blazing …

Metaphors to end a verse:

… broken hope but mended with gold

… hidden in the gray area of our circumstance

… lost in the sea of tranquility

… buried deep in the caverns in his heart

… cherishing all the stars in her eyes

… with all the joy bubbling over

… kindling the fire in their hearts

… reaping the harvest of bitterness

… whispered between the lines of love and hate

Now, go forth my rock-solid poet and smash some oddball thinga-ma-dillies together followed by some enlightening connection we all couldn’t see without your help! I bet you’ve gotten all warm and fuzzy and have already made your own list of metaphorical phrases to put into that phenomenal poetry of yours. I can’t wait for you to share your work with me!

~Brooke E. Wayne