The Curse Of The Blinking Cursor
The plight of the blinking cursor is something that plagues me often. It usually means that every word I write seems like it was written by someone who is writing their very first sentence. My solution to this problem usually is to read some of my favorite authors. I started this because one of my first assignments in a censorship class I took in college was a journal on how to read like a writer. I loved this assignment because it reminded me that just because you might not enjoy the plot of a novel you can still learn from it. I’ll give you an example that will probably ruin my credibility as a writer, but it’s the only thing I can come up with right now.
I read Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James a few years ago. I know the writing is laughable, but it taught me a very valuable lesson. You can change something enough, and it can be yours. The fanfic that you wrote when you were a teenager? You could draw your debut novel from that draft. Yes, you would need to change the names, as well as some of the specific dynamics between characters, and the setting. Otherwise, you wrote the story so it is yours. Tropes can’t be copyrighted. Now if you are like me the fanfiction that you wrote years ago reminds you of questionable writing that makes you cringe, then maybe this isn’t the course of action for you if you are suffering from the blight of the blinking cursor.
I have another tip for you though that was shared during a writing sprint that I participated in a few weeks ago: read some of your own writing. The idea is that you will fall back in love with your own work, and then you will want to keep going with those characters. I have started doing that before every writing session. This helps me keep my mindset relatively the same , and helps keep my tone consistent. I can break up writing scenes, and my emotions will not effect the flow of my work in progress.
Sometimes though that doesn’t work to get my creative juices flowing, so I read books by certain authors who are published that I feel I can write just as well as them. I know you might be thinking I could have a high opinion of myself, but let me assure you, I will be the first to tell you that you can probably use my manuscript pages to keep yourself warm at night. This helps me have the confidence that I will one day be published too. I just need to find my story, and I immediately want to continue on the journey to find that book.
The final tip I have came from the fact that I was required to meet a page count for every single one of my writing classes, but if you are feeling overwhelmed journal about feeling overwhelmed. I know it seems like you are in middle school writing in your diary, but it always feels better to put it down on paper. Then I feel like I say what I need to say, and I could now focus on my characters’ problem. Then if I feel like I can’t focus on anything else. I talk to someone. I have some of my best writing when I realize where I am emotionally. I’ve even taken it a step further, and written entire conversations about how my characters feel about the characters around them.
I hope you remain curse free, but if the blinking cursor falls plagues you I hope these tips help fill your page.