Monday, October 9, 2017

Book Review: 'Writer's Block' by C.J. Anaya

The complete title for this review is as follows: “It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.” – Robert Benchley. It Is not often that we discover writers of young adult romances who have a cause that infuse their story that offers access to other young adults facing conflicts. CJ Anaya uses her entertaining stories – a paranormal romances – to address issues of self esteem and dealing with physical ‘flaws’ – variations in certain young people and adults that push them into arenas of embarrassment and even deeper psychological trauma.

But now this prolific writer steps solidly away from fantasy to offer her fellow authors some insightful fact about writer’s block. It is a change of pace for CJ and makes for a short book very worth reading.

She makes her time with the reader meaningful as her Introduction suggests – ‘Writer’s block is a balloon term for many different types of creative blockages authors experience when they sit down to write. Questions, thoughts, doubts, and fears go through their minds which prevent them from accomplishing their tasks…. Different authors use different techniques to get past their writer’s block. What works for one may not work for another. Think about the sports athlete who wears the same lucky socks for every game or the salesman who wears the same tie to each presentation? Each one believes they have the edge because of what they are wearing. Authors are no different. They may have a lucky pen to write with. They may have a special place where they sit when they are brainstorming for a story. Maybe they wear a special shirt or a special hat when they sit down to the computer. Whatever the quirk, the author, salesman, or athlete believes they have an edge by using that same tool, sitting at the same place, or wearing the same article of clothing. Call it luck or superstition; these people think they will get the desired results by doing it the same way. Do you have a lucky pen or a special tie, hat, or shirt? If it works for you, keep using it. However, if you’re finding yourself more often than not staring at a blank computer screen, wishing you could gauge your eyes out with a dull lead pencil… I’m thinking it’s time to look for other ways to kick-start your writing.’

Included in this helpful book are CJ’s 10 best ways to overcome writer’s block: Copy Others, Free Write, Mind Mapping, Write for Someone Specific, Have Your Characters Do Something They’ve Never Done Before, Take a Page Out of Your Life, Step Away, Read a Book, Listen to Music, and Try a Different Story. With the help of this book that dreaded Writer’s Block may be put on the defensive! Grady Harp, January 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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