Monday 31 March 2014

To stare at the screen ... what does it really mean?

I have just started writing my fifth novel. And for the first time ever, I have my story fully plotted from beginning to end. Usually I plot to about 2/3 of the way through, so that there is still an element of surprise when I write, but this time the ending was screaming at me. So all I have to do, is sit down and write it. I'm 5k in. Feeling proud.

Then the staring happened.

The staring, to me, means what? I'm not inspired? No. I don't know what to write next? No. Of course I do, I have it all plotted out. On cards. In front of me. That I don't know my characters well enough? Hmm ... I probably don't. But they always become more rounded as I write, and that's part of the joy. Watching them develop. And it has never stopped me from writing before.

So what, exactly, is it that makes me stare and stare, and procrastinate and procrastinate, when all I have to do is get the words on the page? I was thinking about it last night, and I came to the conclusion that it's fear.

Fear of:
1. It being crap.
2. It being all I think about day in and day out that I neglect my responsibilities. Let's face it, that is going to happen regardless, and is something I should accept.
3. It being bullshit.
4. Take more than a year to finish the first draft because of the fear and the procrastination.
5. It being stupid.
6. Doing this all for nothing. Why am I a writer? Why do I torture myself like this? Because I love it. Why? Because I love it. Why? Because I love it! Why? Oh, shut up!
7. It being crap, bullshit, and stupid.

So, that is why I stare at my screen. Because I am afraid of being who I am, essentially.

What causes you to stare at your screen?


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  1. All of the above :)
    Adam B @revhappiness

  2. ...staring...thinking of sex...chastise myself...start writing ANYTHING to get my mind off of sex. Um? Too revealing?

  3. You are not alone, Jessica! I stare at the screen due to exactly the same reasons. My mid-book blues usually hits around Chapter 3 and from then on I'm convinced my WIP is cutter crap -- so bad it might kill my poor editor when she finally reads it. I'm happy to say that so far, all my editors have survived the experience of reading my works. :-)

  4. I stare at the screen when I can't think of just the right word or phrase.

  5. Sometimes I stare at the screen when I'm just completely out of ideas. And I worry that what I'm working on is stupid...and crap. But I love my characters enough that I push through and I do my best to give them a good ending.


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