You’ve finished a book and you’re ready to write your review for your blog. The trouble is the reviewing muse has deserted you. Know the feeling? I do.
Here are some strategies that have worked for me:
Tip 1 – Do NOT read other people’s reviews for inspiration. You’ll probably see some brilliant ones and get discouraged even more.
Tip 2 – Write something about the book – even if it’s just random words or phrases. Don’t worry about crafting a coherent review; you can come back to it later. When you do, it’s likely what seemed disparate thoughts will be easily rearranged into a cohesive piece.
Tip 3 – Go and do something completely different: weed the garden, take the dog for a walk or bake a cake. Without realising it your subconscious will be working away so when you next sit down to write your review, the words will just flow.
Tip 4 – Put together all the other elements of your review post – book cover, synopsis, author bio, links, etc. Hey presto, nearly half your post is done and psychologically, you’ll feel you’ve made progress. Now take a break. When you come back to it, completing the remainder will probably be effortless.
Tip 5 – Look back at notes you made while reading the book, quotes you wrote down or passages you highlighted – it may provide inspiration for a starting point for your review.
Tip 6 – Go back to basics. Think about your response to the plot, characters, structure of the book, writing style, etc. Write a few words about each. Connect them together and you have the makings of a completed review.
Tip 7 – Sleep on it. The chances are tomorrow the reviewing muse will have returned.
Tip 8 – Try summarising the book in a few sentences to a friend, partner, the dog even. Often the act of talking aloud about the book – or even better, answering questions about it – will trigger a line of thought for writing your review.
Tip 9 – Dump your customary review structure and try something different – bullet points, images, gifs…
Tip 10 – Move on. Just pick up the next book and start reading…
Do you have any tips for when the reviewing muse goes absent without leave? I’d love to hear them…