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The Dreaded Blinking Cursor

The dreaded blinking cursor on a blank page, the bane of every writer. Flashing over and over like a ridiculing little so-and-so, daring me to type something I will actually keep and not delete. Yesterday, it won. I sat for over an hour, unable to think of anything meaningful to write about. That happens a lot to me when I sit down to write a short story or a poem or lyrics. Inspiration hits me and I get this rush of giddy excitement, I feel like I’ve come up with the next big “thing” and then I will sit down to write and nothing sounds right. Nothing sounds the way it does in my head. This invariably leads to frustration and I’ll sit there looking at this taunting flashing cursor until I just give up and walk away from it. Recently though, I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough. I’ve started to try to figure out ways to break through the block. I’ll go at the idea from a different direction or change the point in the story where I choose to begin. In other words, I’ve tried to be less rigid in my writing. I’m learning that the first idea I come up with isn’t always what I am going to end up with and that’s ok. Sometimes, what I end up with is far better than the first idea ever could be.

Late last fall, I entered my first short story contest. It had an assigned theme but that was it. The sky was the limit as far as everything else in the story. I slept on the theme for a day or two and thought I had come up with a great idea. I sat down to write it and once again nothing sounded right, nothing seemed to fit what I wanted to convey to the people who would be reading my submission.  Determined to submit something though, I persevered. I sat down and wrote and rewrote and changed the entire story several times until it was honed it into something I was excited about submitting. I submitted it and am still waiting to see how I did. That’s another lesson I’ve learned patience is not one of my virtues. Even though I know rejection is a big part of being a writer, I want my first piece to do well. So the struggle continues but I’m up for the challenge. I’m excited to see where my writing takes me and what stories I will create over the course of my writing career.

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