Blink. Blink. Blink. Taunt. Taunt. Taunt. We’ve all been there, right? Sometimes a minor annoyance, sometimes a frustratingly monumental boulder in our path to success. We all handle the void in our own way. When I first started my blog, the wide open canvas freaked me out at times. If I knew I needed to post but had no stellar idea brewing I would tense up and curse the cursor. Two years into it and most of the time it bothers me not.
In terms of posts at my blog, it’s no big deal. I don’t have a boss pushing me to meet post quotas. As well, I refuse to put my name on anything I would be less than proud of. If nothing comes, I’ll hang for a day and something will always arrive for me to post about. I have some oldies in the archive that still apply and those are always worth a resurrection. I read enough books that I can do a review. The forum is always open for guest posters but I get few folks taking me up on the offer. In short, it’s all good.
When I have to write articles for a client, it’s a little different. Apparently I work best under pressure and deadline. I know this because this is where I seem to hang out. If I have a week to do 20 articles, you can bet the last two days I’m a machine. I have always been able to pull from the well and deliver. I had one freelancer that I subcontracted for and as it turns out the client she wanted me to write for was way too picky and apparently in a different league. I did maybe two articles and then let her know that the trouble wasn’t worth it and I didn’t want her to have to revamp my articles. I knew when to give up. That’s sound advice by the way. If you’re in over your head, get out early.
Fiction writing is the area where I battle the cursor the most. The problem is that generally, any pressure or deadlines are self imposed and I’m way too flexible in giving myself additional time. There is also the problem of the canvas being TOO wide open. I think maybe I need to write a novel using specific long-tailed keyword phrases. Hmmm, I might have something there.
If given a writing prompt of some kind, I can usually come up with a decent fiction piece. I just finished a little contest over at Wayne’s Long Short Stories. The short story was 90 percent complete and the contest involved writing an ending. It was great fun and the cursor bothered me nary a bit.
So, how stuck do you get? Do you need a tow truck with a winch or do you just rock back and forth until you get some traction? What are your methods for conquering the cursor?