I read an article today. It was one of those articles organized around a list of some sort. This one was a list of ways that Isaac Asimov succeeded as a writer. They were all good. Some of them were inspiring. But in the final analysis he admitted that he worked hard at it. He asserted that nothing that was worth while was ever easy.
One of his techniques for dealing with being stuck was to set the project that had him stymied aside and work on something else. That is a good technique. I have used it myself on occasion. I would use it more if I wrote full time for a living. But I have set myself up in an artificially difficult situation. I have chosen to impose a daily deadline on my blog post.
Writing under a deadline is different. You can’t always set the project aside and work on something else. You have to pick a topic and run with it. Occasionally, you have to start over. I make it a practice to save my abortive attempts. You never know when you might figure out a way to salvage them.
Working to a deadline is stressful. But the satisfaction of writing something worthwhile within the constraints of the deadline is even more satisfying than writing the same article unconstrained by time.
Oh and, you never get stuck when you’re writing under a deadline. You don’t have time to get stuck. You write things iteratively, first listing the main points that you intend to cover in the article. And then, you break the points down and as you catalogue each one, you add in the details.
And then you’re finished. But you’re not. You’ve made your points and you’ve written the story, beginning, middle, and end, but you’ve still got to read what you’ve written. And, there’s no time to let it sit and allow you to regain your composure. You’ve go to edit, rewrite whatever needs rewriting, and eventually, you’ll find yourself putting the last touches on it, correcting the errors that jumped out at you, and accepting the ones that didn’t.
You press publish and accept what you’ve done for what it is and start thinking about what you’re going to write for tomorrow. It’s hard to write a blog post daily. It wouldn’t be worth doing if it wasn’t.
Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.