Writing tips for Bono


In this photo, Bono is either giving us the peace sign or asking for two more months to finish his lyrics. (Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Associated Press)

U2 is hard at work on its new album, but Bono still hasn't found what he's looking for, lyrics-wise. Apparently, a new U2 album is being delayed because frontman Bono is going through writer's block, according to a report in the New York Daily News.

The Irish rockers had been aiming to release a new album sometime in the next few months and then start a new tour at the end of the year. But it looks like both of those things are being pushed back to 2015, with "industry insiders [saying] it's because Bono is struggling to pen new lyrics."

If indeed Bono is having trouble writing, we'd like to pass on some hard-earned wisdom from people who also do it for a living -- authors.

1. Announce a deadline

image-innes-70.jpg"... There is one technique that I guarantee will work: create a deadline--a serious deadline. Make a promise to someone significant; someone to whom breaking that promise will cause you extreme embarrassment." 

-- Roy Innes, mystery writer

2. Break it down

mark-twain-70.jpg"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one." 

-- Mark Twain, American icon

3. Step away for a while, but avoid parties

hilary-mantal-70.jpg"If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ¬≠music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don't just stick there scowling at the problem. But don't make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people's words will pour in where your lost words should be." 

-- Hilary Mantel, two-time Man Booker Prize winner

4. Keep it real

andrewpyper-70.jpg"Be a reporter. Don't write fancy sentences or big ideas or pretty metaphors. Just describe what you see and hear in straightforward reportage. Transcribe an overheard conversation on the streetcar. Describe the clothes someone is wearing at the bus stop. List the items the guy ahead of you has in his shopping cart. Just... write. It's amazing how the physical act of translating the seen and heard into words can open things up, and get you back to the Big Project with the taps wide open." 

-- Andrew Pyper, author of The Demonologist

5. Just do it, Bono

kingsolver-70.jpg"I learned to produce whether I wanted to or not. It would be easy to say oh, I have writer's block, oh, I have to wait for my muse. I don't. Chain that muse to your desk and get the job done." 

-- Barbara Kingsolver, author of The Lacuna

Writing Tips

Canada Writes has a whole bunch of great writing tips from a variety of authors, poets, novelists and more. Check them out!