The blinking cursor is a taunting meanie. She flashes back and forth on my screen to a mocking beat that seems to say, “You. Suck. You. Suck. You. Suck…” The only way to keep her quiet is to write something. Now, you don’t have to be a writer to know that some days you’re hot and other days You. Suck. You. Suck. You. Suck and today is one of those days. Actually, so was yesterday. I searched my brain for something worth sharing and all I saw was darkness. Many of you would diagnose me with Writer’s Block–a condition that attacks the creativity hubs of motivated writers and renders them useless. But I don’t believe in writer’s block. There. I said. People give a lot of power to this term, but here’s what I believe happens when we go blank:
- We’re not interested in what we’re writing. That, or we haven’t given enough thought to where we want the story to go.
- We don’t know where we want the story to go because we haven’t outlined. The outline is a route your story travels so it can make it to its final destination. It doesn’t mean you have to stick to this route. It just means you need a general idea of where you’re going and how you want to get there. If it changes along the way that’s because you know more and can make an informed decision.
- You lack inspiration. This is probably happened to me. I’m still recovering from surgery and I’m thinking about my pain too much. I’m not in the right mindset to have fun with my characters. In these cases it’s important to get inspired. Go do something else. Read or watch something that puts you in the right mood. Buy a candle. Eat popcorn at your desk. I did all those things. Yes, I watched Big Mouth. Judge me.
- Maybe that scene you had your heart set on writing simply doesn’t work. Cut it. Try something new. Don’t get bogged down by events or details that don’t drive the story forward. Remember, you are the creator of your fictional world. You can give life and you can take it away.
- Commit to S%!t. Avoid perfecting your early drafts. They’re not supposed to be pristine. They’re supposed to get the story out of your head and on to the page. You’ll never make it to the end if you keep stopping to fix details along the way. Trust your future self to fix it later.
Hey, I wrote something!