Not Going To Frisco: Day 4

Welcome to Writing Biz Reality.


How can you write when you don't know what comes next? When you're staring at a blank page or today's equivalent, the blank monitor screen.

Sometimes even when we writers have notes or an outline or some kind of roadmap, we sit down at the computer, lift our hands to the keyboard, and nothing happens. We're blank. Our mind is as clean as a wiped slate.

What do you do then?

You write anyway. Just start writing even if it's something inane and dull. Start writing sentence after sentence, describing what should be happening or the character or why you think your brain is blank. Something miraculous will happen. You'll fill the page with words that probably are germane to what you're writing.

You know what you do with that page of bad writing? You put it in the stack because you can fix a page of bad writing, even really bad writing. But you can't fix a blank page.

Nora Roberts is often quoted as saying that very same thing. I doubt if she was the first to state that insight. I bet every working writer who has earned a living has said or thought the same thing because it's a universal truth about writing.

Rough draft can be edited into finished draft. No matter how awful and pedestrian it may be. Blank pages cannot be edited into anything.

Takeaway Truth

Get the words down. Give yourself permission to write dreck if that's all you can manage. Then refine gold from that dross.

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