Tommy V Cancer blog tour: Review of 13 Steps to Beating Writer’s Block!

Hello there! Welcome to my blog, if you’ve come from the truly awesome massive #tommyvcancer blog tour!

13 stepsToday I’m reviewing Tommy’s ebook 13 Steps to Beating Writer’s Block: Free your creativity today! I picked this because, as a writer, reading about other people’s writing problems is immensely comforting, and also because you never know when you might need a handy pocket-sized (I’m talking theoretically because it’s digital) guide to Kicking Yourself Up The Bum.

Writer’s block is a real thing. Tommy’s introduction is both reassuring and alarming: “…for a long time, I didn’t believe that writer’s block existed at all…and then I started work on a new series…I had no idea what to write next.” I have never suffered from writer’s block – not the type of block that cripples a writer for weeks if not months on end. Like Tommy, I have a vague feeling that maybe this is just something that happens to other people. And yet, even after years of success as a writer – it happened to him. Perhaps it could happen to me too. EEEEEKKK!!

But now I have this handy guide. And it’s not long at all – takes half an hour to read (which is good for people of my generation who seem to have trained themselves out of being able to concentrate for long periods and into the constant flipping between tasks/social media) – and is full of really, really sensible advice. I’ll be honest and say not much was new to me. I’ve been around long enough to have come across suggestions like going for a walk, making a collage, writing in poetry etc. BUT I’ve never thought of actually writing on my windows before:

Celebrated writer Tommy Donbavand, hiding behind gravestones when he's not defacing windows
Celebrated writer Tommy Donbavand, hiding behind gravestones when he’s not defacing windows

I’ll never forget the sheer joy of realising that I could write on my office window with a whiteboard marker…

*goes out immediately to buy whiteboard markers*

And I also love the suggestion about stalking your characters:

Follow them as if you were a private investigator on a case. Where do they go? To a coffee shop? OK, what did they order? Where Next? To drop off the dry cleaning? What are they having cleaned, and for what occasion? An upcoming party? A job interview? Or are they concealing a guilty stain that shouldn’t be there in the first place?

You know, even by just reading that paragraph, I know I could go and write two or three short stories with those ideas!

In fact, even for people not hit by writer’s block, this little book could give you all kinds of new ideas, or fresh angles on ideas you already have. Tommy set up a website designed to help writers with critiques, tutorials, newsletters and the like: I see that there hasn’t been anything new added since Feb 2015, but I hope Tommy does develop the site at some point in the future, because there’s loads of excellent stuff in this book and Tommy would be an ace mentor to any new writer looking to break into publishing.

The #tommyvcancer blog tour continues tomorrow and every day this month! Check out the poster to find out where to go next, and follow the hashtag on Twitter for the chance to win loads of Tommy’s books. There’ll be a Twitter chat too on 30th June from 8 till 9pm.  And don’t forget to drop into TommyVCancer to read Tommy’s latest news in his ongoing battle and to leave him an encouraging message!

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