A Lover of Books

Guest Post by M. Jonathan Lee

Author Picture

A couple of years ago I read M. Jonathan Lee’s debut novel, ‘The Radio’.  Since then the next two books in the trilogy have been published, both of which I am still looking forward to reading.

My review of ‘The Radio’ can be found here:-


It’s an absolute pleasure to have Jonathan on my blog today with a very interesting guest post and one which I’m sure other writers can relate to.


“It must be brilliant being a writer, Jonathan…”


The death of a writer through writer’s block.

The number of times I’ve heard this. I have no idea. It could be fifty, it could be a hundred. I don’t know. What I do know though is that I agree with this statement. Most of the time.

I’ve been fortunate, through a series of what may be called lucky breaks (coming second in the Novel Prize 2012; meeting and befriending Sunday Times best seller, Milly Johnson; somehow forcing my way into being a regular panellist on BBC comedy show, Live-ish) I have managed to get to a stage where I am a (near) full time writer.

I still need to spend half my week doing my ‘day job’ – accountancy – to feed my wife and five kids. And, at the end of last year, I took a brave step and quit my full time job where I have been working for near fifteen years. The other half of the week is for writing.




You see “it must be brilliant being a writer”. If you actually write. And I haven’t now, for nearly six months. Nothing. Not a word. And it’s becoming scary. Really scary.

My last two novels were a doddle. In fact, my #5 best seller on Amazon, A Tiny Feeling of Fear, took no more than four months from start to finish. And that was writing late at night, looking after five kids and holding down a day job. But, the problem you see was that was in the first person.

Now though, I am in the midst of a real severe case of writer’s block. I have three stories that live in my head. They are all in the third person. I know how the stories work from start to finish. I know the characters, plot and exactly what happens. I like all three of them. But yet, I cannot begin any of them. I don’t know why. I simply can’t.

I have now got to the stage where I have persuaded myself that I no longer have the ability to write. I half-watch TV dramas and films and actually try to work out how I would explain what has happened on the screen. And guess what. I can’t do it. The words aren’t forming, third person is no longer working.

I know somehow I’ll pull it ‘round. I’m reading colossal amounts just to try and work out how sentences are formed again. It’s almost like I’ve awoken from some kind of coma.

And so, is it “brilliant being a writer?” Er, yeah. I suppose. When I am one.

I’d advise you look out for my fourth novel though, it’ll be either called: “George the Dog Hanger”; “Future. You. Now.” or “There’s more to life than life.”

I guarantee it’ll be good.

Because once I get through this stage I’ll write like I’ve never done before.

In the meantime, anybody who has any advice at all to get me through this current stage – please do write to me. I need all the help I can get!

(Note: Drugs/Coffee/ProPlus/Red Bull and frontal lobotomies have already been discounted).

M. Jonathan Lee


About M. Jonathan Lee

M Jonathan Lee is an award-winning British author. His debut novel, The Radio was nationally shortlisted in The Novel Prize 2012. He has had three novels published, and has signed a four book deal with SoloP Publishing. He is committed to raising awareness on mental health issues following the death of his brother and is a regular contributor to the BBC. He lives in a little mining town in the North of England with his little family of seven. He also has two cats and a dog.


Twitter – @j0n4th4n_lee

Single Post Navigation

4 thoughts on “Guest Post by M. Jonathan Lee

  1. A brilliant , honest post. I have just got through a bout of writer’s block. I tried to ‘just write through it’, which worked for me when I went through little tough spots with my previous two novels. This time was different, though. This time seemed to last forever (it was actually a couple of months) and I started to doubt my ability to write, again just like you.
    But I am happy to say I am through it now. How? I’m honestly not sure. I wrote, I didn’t write, I talked about it to anyone who would listen, I talked about it to myself, and in the end I decided to take some time off. The decision to step away felt like a weight off my shoulders. The very next day I woke with all the problems somehow solved by magic, and I started to write. Now I am blasting through book three.
    Book three was the first one that has popped into my head fully formed. Normally, I have a beginning and end, and very little idea of what will happen in between until I start writing. Perhaps that was the problem. My personal belief is that writer’s block is the subconscious’s way of telling me there is a issue with the plot or the way that I plan on telling the story. Once I relaxed, the subconscious also seemed to solve those problems.
    Good luck.


  2. This is going to sound mad, Jonathan (and you may have done this, already), but try writing one TINY scene in the third person from one of your three stories – a bit you particularly like, not necessarily the opening, in fact probably best not to start at the beginning. (You did say you liked all three stories). Then, use your ‘find and replace’ to swap the he/she for ‘I’. Don’t analyse it, just correct the grammar so the tenses of the verbs work in first person. Then read it and see how you ‘feel’ about it – not whether you think it’s any good. Think about yourself, not the reader. Does it excite you, interest you, do you want to know more, did you enjoy it, does it ‘feel right’ or not? It might give you some answers…


  3. Thank you both so much for your lovely comments. I have no idea what happened but by sharing my thoughts on the blog, something happened and I began writing. I’ve done 25,000 words in a week on my fourth novel. Thank goodness. Thanks again. Take care, Jonathan.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: