The determination to actually finish a writing session is not something that can hit you right away. As writers we are all too familiar with staring for what seem like hours at a blinking cursor on a blank page. When we stare down at all the potential that could be included in just that one sheet of paper, it freezes our fingers in place. And for good reason.
I had once made on article on Description Overload and I was dead serious with every claim that I made in that post. There are just far too many details to take into account
when you’re just writing one scene, let alone a whole chapter!
To some of those that may have been involved in the hobby for longer, it may seem strange that you still get the shivers when you see that blinking cursor. As if the silence that comes when we’re not typing on our laptops is not bad enough, there’s also your mind that keeps hinting at all the possible words you could use! Your inner perfectionist berates your work before it’s even typed down! It’s as though all the powers in the universe have congregated with the sole purpose of stopping you!
And this is just the first thing we face when we open our manuscript!
You’re afraid to even allow yourself the pleasure of hearing that tap tap tap because you think you’ll just end up spewing gibberish all over your monitor! It’s a feeling worse than not having ideas for what to write. If only for the fact that we already have the ideas, we’re just too scared to see them once they are put to paper.
This is another case of that inner perfectionist, mocking our efforts before we even get down to working on our books. We want to see this idealized version of our prose spawn on the screen the second that we commenced typing, but this is almost never the case. And we’re aware of it. But many of us can’t bring ourselves to accept that, and we allow the negativity of the inner perfectionist to spread.
Very well, very well, it’s a great thing that I’ve been able to tell you all about this, but that won’t matter unless I bring up a solution. But what could that answer to our problems even be? Well, you’ll be happy to hear that the answer isn’t that complex.
Yeah, you heard me.
You see, like many other cases with the inner perfectionist, he must be treated like a nagging grandparent. Sure, on the surface it appears as though you’re listening to him, but what you’re really doing is anxiously waiting for him to shut up. We need to realize that this kind of fear is temporary at best and irrational at its worst.
The hardest part of making a novel are those first few minutes that you spend staring down at a blank page with your mind thinking about everything except the novel. But the only way to break this is to start typing. It can take only a sentence until you feel pumped to dish out words. Maybe 500. Maybe even a 1000! But either way, it’s guaranteed that if we bear through it, we’ll be able to get out with our books intact and our minds unsullied.
As always, this has been the QuestingAuthor. Keep writing, my friends.