Monday, September 13, 2010

Motivating Your Monday: Mental Writing

For a writer, staring at a flashing cursor is the worst next to a rejection. I have found a way around that brain numbing practice. At that moment it's so easy for me to get lost in the Blogger world or Facebook. Not to mention "researching" on cyberspace. I can easily blow an entire morning under the guise of research. What do I do? The bottom line is, if I don't have something to write-- I don't sit in front of the computer. 
     I often completely leave the room. There are lots of options;  pen and ink in hand I go to the cafe, sit at the kitchen table, out on my deck, anywhere I can still write. The key to remember is this is not a break from writing. You still have a job to do but you are using different muscles than when you sit in front of the computer.
     This A flashing curser often means I don't have a plan. When I sit in front of the computer I have an idea of what I'm going to write before I even sit down. Planning can be as vague as working on chapter 2, rewriting a scene, or as specific as describing a character. A writer always has something to work on. Don't go to the computer until you know what your writing about. Seems obvious but the pressure of a blank page and no plan is horrible.
     OK, you have a plan and still the nagging cursor is flashing or now you're staring at a blank piece of paper. This usually means I haven't done enough mental writing. When I am in the midst of a project, I am always writing in my mind. Most writers do, that is why we carry notebooks with us.(Heaven forbid we miss a flash of inspiration or a great idea). But I am talking even more basic then that. For me mental writing happens everyday, even when I'd rather it didn't.
     I have often been accused of spacing out or daydreaming. Usually, I am lost in a description, a visual image or even a dialogue with a character. Crazy? Maybe. I call it a writer's frame of reference. An artist is always storing visual images, a writer does too. However, we also collect words, feelings, descriptions...We take in the world around us in literary terms, we write it in our brain. Do we create perfect sentences? Of course not. When a non-writer looks at a chair, he sees a chair. When I look at a chair I see its rich wood grain, its worn seat and the high strong back. Get the idea? There is always something to write.

What is your cure for the flashing cursor?


  1. Great post!

    I, too, use the notebook. I sometimes have to write in the notebook next to me while I'm typing on the computer. It's nice to run things by with my husband, sister, and writing group. That usually gets the ball rolling again.

  2. Thanks Patricia! My 18-year-old son is a VW fanatic and loves to go to shows. He has a 20th Anniversary GTI, yellow.(It is his first loan) I showed him the pic of yours and he loved the wheels and rack!

  3. I can so relate! A writer friend gave me one of those small blank journals, complete with a band closer and ribbon bookmark. It fits in my purse. I love that thing. I have put more ideas and started more articles and stories in that small treasure. I intend to get more, and also one for the artist.


I would love to hear from you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...