“I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.” ~ Stephen Wright
I suppose I should begin with the times when it was easy. When I was a student, an intern, a researcher, a scientist, an engineer, those were the easy days. I wrote textbooks and technical papers, manuals and government reports. I wrote Really Hard Stuff, except that is wasn’t that hard. That writing came with the job, and the priority was the data, the process, the procedure, the specifications. I got published. My work is still in use, decades later, around the world. I made a few bucks.
Early on, when I was part of a team, I knew I’d be expected to get our results documented. Nobody else wanted to do it, after all. Except, here’s thing… Whatever you’ve got in your head is amazing and profound and life-changing only to yourself until you share it with others. Not just share, but share in a way that can be understood and put into practice. I never got why others hated writing. I loved distilling a whole mess of technical into something organized and understandable. Useful.
And I Got Paid…
Later, I did more solo projects. First I’d justify the cost. Then I’d do the researching and the calculating, the experimenting and the graphing, the justifying and the concluding. I’d get to document the whole messy thing. I’d distill piles of sticky notes, mounds of data and journals and scribbles into something useful. And people would read what I wrote and use it and make a difference. I taught people. I shared new discoveries. I developed and documented procedures that saved corporations more money than I’ll earn in a lifetime. I showed workers how to do dangerous things without killing themselves or anyone else. I revealed the secrets that engineers needed so they could teach to those whose brains work more traditionally. I translated government mandated policies into real-world application. And I enjoyed every last minute of it.
And I got published. And I got paid.
Then I took a break, set my sights on different priorities. And now I’m back.
And I want to make stories. I’d like to change people’s lives just a teensy bit, one chapter at a time. I hope to create something compelling enough that it provides entertainment and escape and maybe even a life lesson or two. That’d be perfect. I’d settle for even one of the above.
And I am Stuck.
I see too much expanse of blank whiteness, sitting silently and expectantly, mocking me for my inability to string together a few coherent words. Oh, I want to silence that accusing blankness with some genius keystrokes or the scritchtey scribing. The inability to string together a coherent paragraph always takes hold at the worst possible time. No, not when I’m facing a deadline. The absolute most inconvenient time to have trouble composing is those occasions, oh so few and far between, when I have uninterrupted time to dedicate solely to my craft. Most unfair!
Okay, so today I got nothing done on my novel. But I thumbed my nose at The Block and got a blog post put together. Perhaps this will be the introduction to my future series on how to overcome The Block. Ideas a-plenty – I’ve got’em!
Now, let’s see what I can do with them.