There’s No Such Thing as Writer’s Block!

by CJ McDaniel // August 7  
This guest post was written by Sharonda Crenshaw. For the past 3 years, Sharonda Crenshaw “Coach Cren” has used her creative writing skills to develop coaching tools to help people organize both their professional and personal lives.  Sharonda is the Founder and CEO of FOR ME Coaching and BESTEVER (Becoming Stronger Everyday).  She is also a workshop facilitator, speaker, author, and an entrepreneur.  Visit her website here!

Well, of course writer’s block exists, but you must admit the title made you want to read this. Creative writing means being able to write creatively, and while that seems to be one of those “duh” statements, sometimes keeping it simple produces some of the easiest and best reads.

While working on a recent project, I devised a word strategy game which I was quite proud of. I made all of these calls to the copyright office and legal advisers to see if there was any way to protect the concept of the game and not just the content of the book. I was told that you can’t copyright ideas, only the way in which they are expressed. I spent hours agonizing over the possibility that someone with more resources would read about my game and run with it—leaving me with no recognition or profit.

Excited about this game which is imperative to the story line, I decided to run it through my filters (most trusted friends and avid readers), to get their painfully honest opinions of it.

I began by discussing the concept of the book (which they loved), the decision to create a series rather than a novel (which they agreed), and then the concept and rules of my scholar-friendly, all rights reserved protected, I will find away to sue you if I smell a hint of theft, word strategy game (which completely confused them). To make matters worse, I found myself struggling to explain it.

Don’t confuse creative, complicated, and complex. Creativity calls for imagination and a freely expressive approach to construction. Just watch any 5-year-old who is allowed to pick their own ice cream toppings or their outfit for school. Complicated is creative turned confusing. It can be a killer concept with a shocking twist that took so many turns that Google maps just reads “you’re screwed”.

Then there is complex. This is the tightrope between creative and complicated. It’s kinda like making lasagna for readers. You can have simple ingredients, layered and proportioned just right, that provide an indulgent sensory experience sopped up with a buttery hunk of garlic bread.

I had to ask myself if being a legend in my own mind was more important than building relationships with readers who trust me not to be their literary tour guide with a poor sense of direction. It ultimately meant shelving that complicated game in favor of a more readable, relatable, and easily comprehended one.

At first I felt like I wasn’t remaining true to myself. Like I was trading in my beloved rocky road for just plain vanilla—and then it occurred to me I can always add a few sprinkles.

josephSharonda Crenshaw is a certified Human Capital Coach and minister, Sharonda uses principles from her background training to develop daily affirmations and W.O.W. Moments (Words of Wisdom).  Since 2015, these posts have reached over 3000 members in the BESTEVER (Becoming Stronger Everyday) group and over 500 followers of the webpage.  Her posts encourage people to embrace greater mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, and financial goals daily.  Currently there are over 700 affirmations, W.O.W. Moments, videos and more posted at her FB page.

Her most recent project, Joseph’s Destiny Adventure Part 1: Daily’s Dreams, is the first release in the adventure series.  It will also serve as the illustrative narrative to her 40 FOR 40 FOR ME Coaching Series which will launch following the completion of the JDA series.

About the Author

CJ grew up admiring books. His family owned a small bookstore throughout his early childhood, and he would spend weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. Not much has changed since then, except now some of those interesting books he picks off the shelf were designed by his company!