As writers, we all experience inconsistencies in our craft. There will be times when we write for hours without coming up for air, other times we go weeks or even months without writing a single word. We can attempt to try out our voice in first person narration, then switch to third person, and sometimes back to first person. Our interests can range from fiction to nonfiction to poetry, and finally to screenwriting when we attempt to write that TV pilot that we’ve always wanted to.
Whatever irregular habits we may possess, I have discovered that throughout the years there has been one single thing that has remained consistent through my writer friends and myself and that is the sense of dread in getting started. No matter how excited I might be about beginning a new idea or new chapter, the sight of that blank Microsoft word template makes my stomach drop. The black cursor blinks almost angrily at me as if to say, “Well? Don’t just stare at the screen! Write something!”
My advice to overcome this horrific feeling of getting started that we’ve all experience as a writer is to simply pull up Microsoft word and immediately walk away. I have found that when I come back to that blank white screen after a few minutes or even an hour, I eagerly attack my new project instead of pushing it away like I wanted to beforehand. As you begin to write and fill up that white blank space (no Taylor Swift comments please), it is amazing how the frustration, anxiety, and self-loathing leaves you and before you know it, your word count is past 2,400 and you’re grinning like a fool.
Until you start all over again, of course.