Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Deleting The Blinking Cursor


Did you ever want to change the furniture or the décor of a room in your home and feel lost? Writers feel like this sometime while working on a story. We’ll be chugging along, working on our new story, the story that had burnt our every thought until we sat down and started to write it, and BAM, we lose our way. It’s like we walk into that room and just know we need to change something, but what?

Can we go out and hire someone to write the book for us. No. But, we can grab another writer and start tossing some ideas around. But what if you really want to work this problem out by yourself or just have to? Well, there are a number of things I do when I hit the wall or read back on the chapter I’ve written and just know it’s not right. You know like putting the couch facing the fireplace with its back to the TV. It might work for some, but not for everyone, and definitely not for the most important person in your life, the hubby- also known as the World’s Greatest Sport’s Fan.

What do I do? I take a break, and perhaps grab a few of my keeper books off the shelves and just read a few chapters. These books remind me what I inspired to write. Or, I might review a contest entry I’ve judged and really analyst it-wondering what I, as a reader, was looking for and the author had missed or had hit the mark.

I might try doing a creative project other than writing. I find while working outside the box helps me think different on my project. And then, sometimes all it takes is for me to make a list of twenty what if questions or a flow chart.
Or, I could interview my characters. I’ve changed direction and upped the stakes many times by doing this.

I’ve learned not to sit and stare at a blinking cursor. It does me no good and wastes valuable time. WINK

So how do you change your furniture(words) around?

FYI: This Friday's Friend is Darynda Jones. We'll be talking about her new realease, First Grave On The Right, which has the publishing world humming. Please stop by.


  1. WElcome back utumn. I have been staring a my blinking cursor for an hour. I need good news and energy to get going again.

  2. See two typos in half a line. Welcome back Autumn!!

  3. Thanks, Mona. And good luck jump starting the muse. WINK.

  4. This has happened to me more times than I can count, Autumn. I usually put that story aside for a while and work on something else. I'm writing a novella right now that was put aside for I don't remember how long. I always come back to projects with a fresh eye.

    Beautiful blog!

  5. Fresh eyes is definitely an eye opener. Great advice, Susan! Thank you for sharing.

    Sitting aside your work for a few days or weeks is also a important editing step. Amazing what you find each time you come back to the work.