Flailing at a blank page

There is something fundamentally wrong with the book writing process. You go from finishing a book, which is at it’s most book-like stage, where you are worrying about commas and word choice, to starting a book, and you’re still thinking of commas and word choice, but you have this big blank page to flail around with and you need to be thinking in a completely different manner than you have been for the last 6 months.

I need a reset button.

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2 thoughts on “Flailing at a blank page

  1. antonhur says:

    Totally. I think your particular day job might also make it more difficult for you to “switch gears”… a very prominent literary translator acquaintance of mine said a similar thing to me recently, how her translating and editing mind keeps interfering with her first-drafting. Sara Maitland talks about it in her book on writing, too. I think you have to figure out a way of “not looking” at what you’re writing, to never read over it when you’re doing it, and when you do read over it, to not fix even very obvious spelling mistakes until the draft is finished. I literally look at the space I’m about to write on instead of the word I am writing; it helps!

    • Nicole Lisa says:

      Totally. I have a lot of tricks for “not looking” and even “not writing” (morning pages, this is just a warm up writing exercise not real writing, writing poems about the WIP, writing letters from the MC to another character) but this time nothing is helping! I’m going to try working on it when I’m really tired next to see if that gets me past the editing mind and into the writing mind.

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