Wednesday, September 10, 2008

When you can't think of a thing to write.

I'm sure I'm not the only writer this has ever happened to. If you've written more than 10 pages of anything, you can probably relate.

You've drawn elaborate character sketches, hashed out your plot until it's foolproof, and have a 50-page outline with no major holes. Your desk has been decluttered and the kids are out of the house for the afternoon. You do a few deep breathing exercises to get in the right frame of mind and sit down to write. Suddenly your mind goes blank. You can't think of a single word to write. You panic and figure you never should've told your mother and your spouse you were going to write a book.

How do you work through it?

There is no right or wrong answer. There are mornings I don’t want to get out of the shower because I know I need to get to work on my current project and I don’t have a clue about what I’m going to write.

Those are the mornings I stare at my blinking cursor and think; “I need to get a real job.”

Sadly, I have more of those days than the ones where I am chomping at the bit to get started. But I’m doing what I always dreamed of doing. So I have to work through it. The best way to do that is to sit down and start tapping away at the keys. For these moments, it’s good you took the time to write an outline before you made your first keystroke.

If you did at least you’ll have a jumping off point when you get stuck. Even if you didn’t make an outline, you must jump, dear writer. Like the saying goes; “Take the leap of faith and grow your wings on the way down.”

Those wings will grow, but not if you stand on the cliff thinking of all the reasons you aren’t cut out for flying.

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