A preacher was making his visitation rounds on his trusty old bicycle one day when he came across a boy who was trying to sell a lawnmower. “How much do you want for it?” the preacher asked.
“I want enough to buy a bicycle,” the boy said.
The preacher, who just happened to need a lawnmower, thought for a minute and then said, “I’ve been looking for a mower, so lets trade. I’ll give you this bike for your mower.”
“Great!” The boy grinned from ear to ear.
The preacher got off his bike and walked over to the mower. He pulled the cord a few times, but the engine refused to start. “This thing seems hard to start. Is there a trick to get it to fire up?”
“My dad says you have to cuss at it.”
“I’m a preacher! I’ve been saved so long I don’t even remember how to cuss.”
A twinkle danced in the young boy’s eyes. “Just keep pulling the cord, and it will come back to ya.”
There are days that I wonder if I remember how to write. And the only thing I can do is “keep pulling the cord”, believing that it will come back to me, (writing, that is…not cussing…that’s a different post).
If you are struggling with blank screen syndrome, let me encourage you to write one paragraph at a time. Don’t think in novel-length chunks. Make your goal more manageable. When you’re driving in thick fog, you very seldom speed up. The wise thing to do is slow down, handle the immediate chunk of road in front of you. Eventually you’ll get to your destination, even if it’s later than you originally planned.
You CAN finish that novel. But you won’t do it by reading about writing. And since the novel won’t write itself, you’ll need to bang out the words with your own fingers…sentence by sentence. In other words, you’ll need to just keep pulling the cord.
How do you keep writing when the writing comes slow?