I’ve had this problem for a long time, and I suspect that for a lot of writers this is the root of the “terror of the blank page” problem.
This morning I came across a post by Fiona Gregory of “Bootcampers 101” blog. While the writers who contribute to this blog are all romance writers, they often have something to say that applies to the rest of us literary folk.
In this post, Fiona talks about how her perfectionism often holds her back from writing at all, or at least following through on anything because what’s in her head struggles to match what ends up on the page.
Thankfully, this post isn’t just a whine about how hard it is to get the cogs moving.
Some of the more helpful solutions Fiona suggests include:
– Writing to a timer. Set a timer for anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or two, and don’t move until it goes off. Just write. Don’t edit either – that’s for later.
– Scheduling a time for editing so that it doesn’t creep into your writing time. I certainly find that the more I allow myself to edit while I write, the more that filter gets in the way of my getting anything at all onto the page.
While these are small tips, and almost a bit obvious, I found them helpful. Especially as I sit in front of an impending deadline or five, banging my head against a brick wall.