Blank screen. Cursor… Cursor… Cursor…
I remember my English professor suggested free writing whenever the cursor blinked.
Hmmmm. Let’s see. Deep breath. Hands on keyboard. Ready.
Okay. Try again. Deep breath.
No. No deep breath. I’m acting like I’m getting ready to jump off a cliff into a rushing river. Like I need to write the next great epic. I’m writing a blog for God sakes. A short piece on my thought for the day. I can do this. Yes I can.
Attitude has everything to do with what we want to accomplish. We’re writers so we’re thinking TASK is writing a novel. Correct? Okay. If we perceive the task as daunting, it will be. And for large percent of the human race, we will quit right there. But if we look at the big picture as the end result and then think okay, what steps do I need to do to accomplish the job, the task becomes manageable.
The thing about breaking the chore into steps is you can have as many steps you feel necessary for you to manage the undertaking. I would freeze up every time I open my laptop and the motto ‘I will write a hundred thousand word novel’ hung over the computer screen. Especially if I saw that dictum every single day for months and months and months. But the mantra ‘Word by word. Line by line. Page by page.’ works great. Writing a page a day is a goal I can handle. It’s a goal I can surpass most days, which drives me to do it again the next day. I still know what my ultimate goal is, but accomplishing the feat in small bits works for me.
In any task, look at it, step back, figure out manageable steps and then get to work. And if you’re stuck, try free-writing.
2009 Golden Heart Finalist