This is my mid-month planning motivator post for indie authors and poets. I run a creative planning membership for such writers, which includes a monthly workshop and other resources.

Creative Planning Patrons: The theme of our workshop this month (December 2020) is “Annual Planning”–reconnecting with your passion, mission and sense of purpose as a writer, and planning your writing, publishing and creative business in 2021. The aim is to make 2021 your most profitable and pleasurable year yet.

If you haven’t already, please can you answer the questions below and send your responses through to me using the message function in Patreon. (As a patron, Patreon is always the speediest way to contact me). Make sure to include your website address.

Creative Block and Flow Evaluation: Questions for Authors & Poets

Don’t overthink these questions. They give you (and me, if you’re a patron) a sense of where you’re starting.

You may not feel blocked, but if you’re an indie author who wants to make a living from your writing and publishing, and you’re not producing or selling enough books to be profitable, then yes, you have a creative block or resistance somewhere along the line.

Writing and publishing are complex processes and sometimes there is more than block or resistance pattern at play. Seeing clearly what’s going on where is the first step.

Answering the following questions honestly will help you to understand your personal blocks and resistance patterns more precisely. If you’re in the earlier phases of your writing or publishing, they will help you to differentiate between what is just as it should be at this part of your development (despite your impatience to be further along!) and what is indeed a potential stumbling block for you.

All blocks and reistances are just that: stumbling blocks. They hold you back for a time, cause you to falter, but then you pick yourself back up and get on with what you need to do next.

Creative Block and Flow Evaluation: The Symptoms

So…where, precisely, are you finding yourself creatively blocked as an indie author? Let’s try to separate out your current challenges under four headings: writing, publishing, readers, business.

A. Writing Production Symptom: You’re not finishing your current work-in-progress

Examples: You’re not adding to your word count. You’re editing while composing and getting nowhere. You don’t have a time-based plan for your writing. You do, but you’re not sticking to it. You’ve too many books open and unfinished. What is the precise nature of your creative writing block or resistance? Write down the details.

B. Publishing Production Symptom: You’re not producing books.

Examples: You’ve had editorial notes but you’re stuck on rewrites. You don’t have a time-based plan for your publishing tasks or if you do, you’re not sticking to it. You can’t find the right editor. You haven’t sorted formatting or cover design. What is the precise nature of your creative publishing block or resistance? Write down the details.

C. Reader Reach Symptom: You’re not selling enough books.

Examples: You don’t know the right readers for your books. You don’t know where to find the right reader. You don’t have a website. You haven’t worked out how to integrate your marketing with your writing. You write across genres but haven’t segmented your email lists. You don’t have a promotion plan or if you do, you’re not sticking to it. What is the precise nature of your creative marketing block or resistance? Write down the details.

D. Business Block Symptom: You’re not making enough profit

Examples: You don’t understand creative assets or you do, but you’re not accumulating any. You’d rather not think about money. You don’t know how to align your creative and commercial goals. You haven’t made a profit plan or if you have, you’re not sticking to it. What is the precise nature of your creative business block or resistance? Write down the details.

In answering these questions, pay particular attention to that distinction between awareness and implementation. If you know what you should be doing, and you’re not doing it, why? Most often the reason given is lack of time or lack of money but underneath both of those explanations are psychological and emotional factors that need to surface into awareness, so they can be processed. That’s very much part of what we do in the workshops.

Patrons: If you have time, send your answers through to me in advance of our first session, but don’t worry if you don’t. We’ll take care of everything you need on the day and you can send them through to me afterward.

I’m looking forward to meeting with you to guide your business planning from a creative perspective. If you’ve any other questions, or if I’ve forgotten something, just contact me in Patreon and let me know.

If you haven’t joined the creative planning membership in Patreon and you’d like to know more, check it out here.