“If you can talk about it, you can write about it.”
Jack knows a thing or two about writing books: over the years, he’s had 47 New York Times bestsellers and sold 500 million copies of his Chicken Soup series and other titles. Just recently, I heard him talk about his approach to writing. While he’s never had writer’s block, early on in his career, he was filled with self-doubt about his ability to be an author. He would think of his college professors and imagine how they’d critique his work. Luckily, he overcame those fears and went on to share heartwarming inspirational stories with millions of people of all ages around the world.
The biggest message that came through in his interview: writing is transformational. Just the act of doing it can bring you aha! moments that can change and enrich you. Here is some of the approaches he uses that might be helpful:
• Write to one person: Jack said he wants to write to the single mother in Arkansas or the college student who’s worried about what to do with his life. Keep it personal.
• Get going: Don’t let your ideas stagnate: get them out of your head and your heart.
• Start where it’s easy: Instead of making writing hard on yourself, start with something you’re passionate about; this gives you momentum and gets you moving.
• Don’t limit yourself: Over the years, Jack has found that he’s used different approaches to writing his different books. In his first book, he used lots of visuals to engage the reader.
On another, he used a mind-map approach: creating constellations of ideas and then elaborating on them and organizing as he went along. For another, he did a “brain dump” of everything he knew about each of the topics he wanted to cover, then did research, and fleshed out the bones of each of his ideas.
The bottom line: stay flexible and focused — and your words will flow. Write on.