Roadblocks and Why I Prefer to Blog Instead of Writing My Book

Last Updated on: February 15th, 2016

Image courtesy of  digitalart  / FreeDigitalPhotos.netFreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.netFreeDigitalPhotos.net


There is no doubt about it: I LOVE blogging. And writing. Reading, too. And basically anything that involves words, including doing crosswords and playing Scrabble. But I really, really love blogging.

In fact, I prefer it to writing my book because of the emotional pain I avoid. This is my biggest roadblock to writing. It’s not that I can’t write (I totally can!) but that I’ve been choosing not to.

I’m specifically alluding to my memoir book (still untitled) that I’ve started but have been ignoring for the past while; a few months, actually. I’m almost at the point where I don’t think I’ll ever finish it. It’s currently at about 15 000 words. How can I finish it when I don’t put forth the effort?

Now, for all you writers out there, this may seem like an old familiar story. For me, it’s usually not; I generally like to get things done. (Well, most of the time, I do.)

When it comes to writing lengthy pieces, we often feel like we’re facing a brick wall. Yet bloggers crank out thousands of words on a weekly basis. So why aren’t we writing and publishing books? Especially in today’s new self-publishing age?

Our roadblocks

I have a few answers:

  • we cannot train our minds to focus on the bigger picture
  • we cannot wrap our minds around the concept of “I can write 90 000 words.”
  • we cannot wrap our minds around the concept of “I can write 30 000 words.”
  • we are writing about things that are painful to write about
  • we have a shorter attention span (which makes blogging the preference to writing)
  • we don’t know how to plan a book
  • we lack the motivation to see the project through
  • we push the project aside when we come across a “roadblock” (whether it be a technical one, like creating a cover or some formatting issue, or suffering from painful memories)
  • we are scared of success
  • our self-expectations are too high
  • we give up on ourselves easily when we experience minor failures
  • we don’t know how to cope with unexpected emotions when writing painful memoirs (This is a link to a guest post I wrote and just had published today, and I’d love for you to check it out!)

I’m sure you can think of other things to add to this list, but these 9 reasons are the most common.

So what are we to do?

Overcoming Roadblocks

Well, we can:

  • learn how to plan a book, from beginning to end
  • take writing courses
  • make a long-term plan and stick with it
  • learn how to re-train our ways of thinking
  • force ourselves to work on it, whether we want to or not
  • learn how to focus on the bigger picture
  • find an accountability partner to help us
  • join writing groups in LinkedIn and/or on other social media where we can learn from one another
  • follow blogs such as Indies Unlimited to help us with our “roadblocks” (I”m linking to this post specifically since yours truly was the inspiration for it! Yes, I was the reader who asked the question.)
  • learn about the industry (like I have been doing the past year)
  • become friends with an author who can help you with some of your roadblocks
  • read and learn and keep searching Google for the answer
Image courtesy of cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Books, Blogs, and Roadblock-Blocking

Blogging allows us to write short pieces of work. If your blog posts are like mine, they contain a lot of text. That’s because I love writing. (Duh!)

Blogging also offers a more immediate satisfaction. We publish and as soon as the comments start rolling in, we are validated. Writing a book does not allow us this. Our book-writing journey is undertaken often alone, and takes much more time.

In a world where satisfying our ids often take precedence over satisfying our egos and super-egos, blogging is the answer. It’s also less painful than pouring your heart and soul into a book that may never be published – or finished.

YOUR TURN:

What are some of the roadblocks that you’ve encountered? How do you deal with them?

Do you prefer blogging to working on your book? Why or why not?

Please share in the comment section – and forgive me for publishing today instead of yesterday. With the excitement of my first year blogoversary going on this week and the publication of Coping With Unexpected Emotions When Writing Painful Memoirs happening today, I figured it was best to wait the extra day. Stop by and learn a few more things about my sordid past – if you dare.

FOR NEWCOMERS:

I’d like to welcome anyone who should happen to stop by from Arlee’s blog, and invite you to sign up for my newsletter! I’ve not done one yet – so this a new thing for me. Join me on my journey and get some free stuff along the way! 😀

And don’t forget to promote yourself and your blog!

24 thoughts on “Roadblocks and Why I Prefer to Blog Instead of Writing My Book

  1. becc03 says

    Lorraine you may as well have written this for me, but in my case it is just the blog that I am having a road block with. There is so much greatness about it, but with my sickness issues and increasingly becoming a hermit, I really am struggling with how much I should put into it.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Becc, I hear what you’re saying. The questions you need to ask yourself are:
      1. How important is my blog to me?
      2. Can I live without my blog and be happy?
      3. Is the stress from having a blog detrimental to my health?
      4. Will my readers forgive me if I take a few months off to figure things out?
      5. How important is the blog in the overall scheme of things?
      6. Can I stay connected with my readers on social media if my blog was deleted?
      Becc, do some soul-searching. Take some time to answer these questions. Don’t just read them and gloss over them without putting some thought into their answers. I can guarantee that you will figure things out.

      You might want to make a pros/cons list for “What will happen if I stop blogging?” while you answer these questions.
      Identifying your goals will help, too.

      Why did you start blogging, Becc? Why did you continue? How long has it been since you began? I’m really curious…

  2. Hi Lorraine; I’m sorry i got behind in my blog reading and commenting. I’m coming late to this one, and it seems to me there is an answer to one of your problems. break the book up into smaller pieces? think of each chapter as a blog post. of course, this will require making an outline and deciding what parts of your life will be in each chapter. as for the pain, some days you will be better able to face it and get it down on paper or pixels. I personally envy those people who have always kept journals because they have a place to go where they can see exactly what they were thinking and feeling at any given time in their lives. and if you need a little help to get through those bad memories your friends are here for you. I just know that you have an amazing book inside you sweety. and i can’t wait to read it or have someone read it to me. take care now, max

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Oh, Max, you’re suggestion about approaching my book like a blog post is wonderful! Thanks for that! 🙂

      I’m happy I can always count on the support of my online friends, too.

      I’ve kept journals of some sort ever since my early teenage years, too, because I’ve wanted to document my life events. It’s weird when I read them now; I cannot believe some of the things I said and did!

      Maybe I’ll have to make an audio version of my book when it’s done. I wouldn’t want you to miss out! 🙂

  3. I would rather be writing my book, which, I suppose, is why I haven’t posted on my blog for quite a while. I’m also terribly behind in reading my emails and reading other people’s blogs all of which I also love doing.

    I also love to read and exercise, so I have combined them and for 45 minutes a day I do both on an elliptical machine.

    My family is also very important and deserves much of my time and I have a day job that helps pay the bills.

    There just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to get everything I want to do, need to do and HAVE to do, done. So somethings gotta be put on the back burner until later and it’s not going to be writing my novels. I will soon have book two published in the spring and I hope book three by the end of the year. I’m working at finishing both of those very soon.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Wow, Donna, I should take lessons from you! You seem to have it together, despite the time constraints. I have to tip my hat to you!

      I’m looking forward to your upcoming books, by the way. 😉

      And I soooo know what you mean about not having enough time to do everything. Ugh. I’m in the same boat, at times.

      But my new planner is keeping me on track better than before, so we’ll see what happens. My problem is that I keep on taking on new projects without finishing my own. I’ve finally put my foot down, and am refusing to say “yes” unless it’s paid work or something I really want to do.

      Thanks for adding to the discussion, Donna. I look forward to hearing from you on my blog posts. 🙂

  4. Peter Dean says

    It is very daunting to write 50.000 plus words. I guess when we blog, we get so used to cramming as much as we can into the ‘ideal blog length’ it is like learning to drive on a dirt track then being thrust onto a freeway! I am (still!) in the process of putting together a book based on my blogs but with added content where time and space was a restraint as I thought that would be easier…I thought lol! Watch this space, but don’t hold your breath haha.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      I am sure that if I counted the number of words I’ve written for this blog – in total – I’ve already surpassed that 50 000-word mark!

      The thing is, blogging allows us to get that quick fix we need whereas book-writing seems to take so much time.

      But which one will pay more?

      Hmm. This question has been at the back of my mind for some time. The only way to answer it is to publish a book and see if it sells! 😉 I strongly suspect that book-writing pays more. 😉

  5. says

    Great post Lorraine, and as you well know, we are on the same page with this one! Pardon the pun 😉 Seriously though, you have some great pointers. I also read your guest post about overcoming painful emotions when writing your memoir. Very good.

    This is just what I struggle with. Yet, I want to just get it all written down but I need to be completely free from any distraction to do so as my thoughts are broken into repeatedly and then I end up frustrated because I haven’t done anything like the writing I set out to do. I’m hoping that by having the photo challenges to focus on as a ‘good’ distraction I can get myself back on track.

    One tip I read a while ago from someone on LinkedIn, and which I come back to time and time again when I start beating myself up about all my writing failures is this: remember, that so long as you doing some writing every day then you are writing, no matter what it is. Every time we write on our blog we are writing. It might not be our books but at least we are writing something! Maybe why that’s why we prefer our blogs to other other writing!

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      To me, blogging is so much different from working on my books, even though I agree that blogging is writing. Email writing is writing, too. But none of those writing venues are going to make my book write itself! (Though I wish they would!)

      I’m thinking of taking some time “off” just to finish the darn thing. I think I need to focus and really put my foot down. Not sure if I want to “isolate” myself like that, though.

      Thanks for reading my guest post on Arlee’s blog. I appreciate that. I also hope you found some of my tips helpful.

      • says

        I did, thanks Lorraine, very helpful. You do write excellent blog posts packed full with great information.

        You really hit the nail on the head with the writing dilemma and I feel exactly the same way: wanting to take some time of as that seems the only way to really get that book written but not wanting to isolate myself by doing so. This is EXACTLY my dilemma. I was away all weekend and didn’t touch my laptop so now I’m paying the price and spending the entire day it seems catching up but still haven’t got to my ‘proper’ writing despite telling myself I would do that first!

        Is it crunch time for us both I wonder?

        • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

          Take February off from blogging – if you can. Or March. Up to you. Focus on your goals. That’s the only way it will get done!

          And yes, I’m planning on doing this. The internet is not going anywhere, last time I checked. 😉

          I played catch-up with my emails and have gotten into the habit of unsubscribing from everything. Also, I am not commenting on other blogs as much as before – for two reasons: one, to find out who my true readers really are, and two, to free up some time. Yes, this is an experiment of sorts, but when you look at the big picture, is commenting on ten or twenty blogs each month really going to help you get things done? NOPE. So don’t do it. Just for one month. You’ll see how easy it is to say YES to “Can I survive without doing this right now?”

          Seriously. You’ll be shocked.

          Perhaps posting one less post per week is a baby step you can take. Or only posting once per week. Not sure of your current schedule…

          Either way, you’re only going to move forward if you make some much-needed changes.

          Am I right?

          • says

            Everything you say here makes perfect sense Lorraine. I’m enjoying my photo challenges for now and so far so good and it gives me some discipline and then I can move on to other things. IF I don’t get distracted, again. Yet…it is an experiment so we’ll see how it works over the next couple of weeks with keeping it up.

            You made me laugh, about the internet not going anywhere! Never a truer word spoken!!!

            Yes, you are so right! I’m going to give all this some serious thought until I know what it is I need to do. It sounds as if you have and that’s great. Much-needed change is on the horizon methinks….

            • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

              Yes, I’m going to move to my own domain, but I need to iron out a few things first. The transition will be good for me, even though I’m not sure how it’s all going to work. I want to keep some of my posts, and scrap others. I also want to keep my comments!

              I’m going to be writing about this, and also posting less, too, especially when I “move.”

              Exciting times ahead! *fingers crossed*

  6. Shahzad Saeed says

    Lorraine,
    I am still way behind from my new ebook goals. Hopefully I could publish in next 2-3 weeks.

    Years ago I published a premium ebook and it was really a great experience. It’s great to know that people are ready to pay for the work which you did as part time.
    Good luck 🙂

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      What is your ebook about? How will you publish it?
      What was your first ebook called, and where/how did you publish it?

      Yes, I’m blessed to have landed a couple of writing gigs. Now I want more!

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Jeri, you’ll find that if you write as soon as you turn your computer on, you’ll get more done. I got into this habit last year when Sue Mitchell and I spent April hosting a 30-Day Challenge of writing for 10 minutes each day. I found that I was more likely to keep up if I wrote before doing all of my other tasks. Try it for a couple of days and see how it goes – you’ll be shocked at the results! I can practically guarantee it. Give it a shot!

      I am also going to try going back to this method, too, seeing as how it helped me before. However, sometimes setbacks like these happen and we have to learn how to deal with them. (Yes, this is a link to a recent guest post of mine.)

  7. Hey Lorraine,

    I think it’s a combination of the 9.

    For me, it was either not having a plan or not enough motivation to see it through. I did write a few books, but only finished two of them (and at the end, I never used them. My plan was to use those books to grow my email list. But, I realized that I never had any interest in growing a list, so I couldn’t use those eBooks).

    I wouldn’t say they were a complete waste of my time; I did gain experience writing eBooks. And the next time I write one (which is soon), I will be prepared 😀

    To me, the most important steps are figuring out our why and planning ahead.

    If we are writing an eBook just because others are telling us to do so….then, it might be a bad idea.

    We should only write because we feel it, because we feel that our book can provide some value or experience to our readers.

    As for planning ahead, researching, outlining, and of course, contingency planning. What do we do when we get bored of writing? Planning breaks and so forth.

    Anyways, thank you for sharing these tips 🙂 Do appreciate it!

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      I share your thoughts on the “whys” of writing ebooks, Jeevan.

      It’s great that you discovered things about yourself, too. Most people don’t!

      I’m glad you liked my tips; I am speaking from experience, so they are totally valid ones! 😉

  8. says

    I liked your observation that with blogging – we get validated when the comments start coming in – never thought of it this way before, thanks for this eye-opening conclusion, Lorraine!

    I have difficulties with my book (which i have not even started yet?!) – although i have a pretty good idea what it is about; it’s not fiction – and i am super sure i will have tons of fun while writing it and i will love doing it; everything i will write about is already in my head and i have written and talked about it many many times – but somehow i cannot make myself start writing the darn book. I always find something “more important” to do…

    Not sure why it is like this. None of the reasons outlined in your post apply to me (although they are all legit and true reasons for many!). I think i am placing the bar too high for myself and loose motivation because i know i cannot write the book in 1 day – and i just drag it along knowing it will take me weeks and maybe months to finish the first draft. so i never start.

    sigh – good reminder, Lorraine – i know i will write my book sooner or later (maybe with spring coming soon here) – so i have a wish for you too – the inspiration to hit you so strong today (well, ok – maybe tomorrow is fine, too) that you finish your memoirs in the next 2 months. Com’on girl, show us how it’s done! 😉

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Diana, if writing a book was super-easy, more people would be doing it!
      Discipline, I have found, is key. You need to show up and just do it. No bullshit, no excuses, no taking the easy way out. Writing a long work is hard, and takes sooo much time. I know I need to pull up my socks when it comes to my personal discipline, and I’m working on that. My problem is that my thoughts run rampant and there are so many of them that’s it’s hard to find my focus – I want to write so many different things! Limiting myself to doing just one is tough.

      I’m going to make a conscious effort to change that. I’d love nothing more than to show you (and others) how it is done. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge