3 Bookish Content Prompts to Beat Writer’s Block

When your niche is books and reading, content can get quite repetitive. After all, there are only so many book reviews and reading lists you can write before you’re over it.

Coffee Time Reviews is a publication for pour-your-heart-out book reviews and any other kind of books-related content. But lately, I’ve mainly found myself commissioning reviews or recommendations lists. Nothing wrong with that, but I feel like freshening things up a little, not only for me and my own writing, but also for my contributors.

There’s so much we can do with bookish content. And I previously pushed a lot of it through the different series at CTR, like the Author Spotlight series or the Books by Memory series.

This piece is a tribute to those series and a pledge to bring them back. If you love writing about books and your reading experiences, why not try to go against the grain and play around with these three writing prompts? 

Two of these are existing series at Coffee Time Reviews which I’d like to revive and invite new contributors to add to, but one of them is a brand new idea that I’m really excited about, so make sure to read to the end to find out more.

Books by Memory

The Books by Memory series invites you to share your re-reading experiences: what changed, how much did you actually remember, what was new, and did you perceive the book differently?

This content prompt may or may not come from my unhinged tendency to return to books I loved like you return to your warm bed on a cold, dark morning. I’m notorious for reading the same book at least three times when I love it and find comfort in it.

But your reason for revisiting an old favourite (or, why not, a book you were initially lukewarm to) might be different. You might need to re-read a book for a particular purpose. For instance, my next book club read is I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, which I read eight years ago for the first time. It’s not a book I’d normally want to revisit, but I now have a reason and I’m curious how my more mature mind will perceive it.

So, I encourage you to write about your re-reads. Chances are, they won’t feel the same as when you read the book for the first time. Here’s an example by our writer Julie Borden:

Behind the Scenes

Are you an author as well as a reader? Are you writing anything creatively? Have you tried self-publishing your books? Are you querying for an agent? Any and all author endeavours can be shared through our Behind the Scenes series, where authors who also happen to be bookworms can give insights into the publishing industry.

This is a content prompt I’m very keen to pursue as a published poet and novel writer, and I hope others will be inspired to do the same. There’s a strong connection between reading and writing and it’s always fascinating for those who don’t necessarily think about the other side of the industry, to see and appreciate the convoluted ways of publishing and what an author has to do to get there.

Here’s an example by Patrick Witz:

Bookworm Confessions

Now this is where it’s at as far as bookish content prompts go. Coffee Time Reviews is all about the readers. It’s all about you passionate bookworms and how your reading experiences are shaping who you are.

Enough of how books can make you super productive or a 5am routine machine.

Why do you think I don’t care about rigid writing guidelines when commissioning content for CTR? It’s because I don’t care about anything other than how a book moved you, or changed you, how it made you laugh, cry, die inside or find yourself. All of that is important to me and to other readers looking for recommendations. It has power to move and influence others, to drive conversations.

But Bookworm Confessions takes it to the next level. Because if you write a bookworm confession, that’s where it gets super personal. Your content can be about your guilty pleasures, a rant about an unpopular opinion (I really dislike Classics, for example), or about how a book led to your gay awakening. Anything like that would be wholesome to see at CTR or, on the internet in general.

Enough of how books can make you super productive or a 5am routine machine. Enough of books about money and books about the secret to success. How did a book truly change your life? How did it truly move you? What was your most heart-tearing-ugly-crying-world-shutdown reading experience and why? Why are you a better person because of a book?

Write about it. Write about genuine, emotional things that can make others reflect on how they read and how they can find value in this wonderful hobby that brings us all together.

Here’s an example from Kelsea Daulton and one from me:

These are the three bookish content prompts I’m challenging you to tackle when you want to write but aren’t that inspired. I look forward to seeing all your submissions.

I’m a writer, poet and editor based in the UK and I cover books and reading, fitness, lifestyle, and personal development. For more of my stories, please consider signing up for a Medium membership through my referral link.

Published by Eliza Lita

Founder and editor-in-chief: Coffee Time Reviews. Freelance writer and Higher Ed comms person.

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