Writer's Block Doesn't Exist
I have never experienced writer’s block. As a journalist, I never had time for it. When I worked for BusinessWeek, I had to write an online story or two each day plus hone a pitch for the magazine–not to mention spend the vast majority of my day reporting. I could not sit and stare at my computer screen wondering how to write the perfect first sentence. I wrote an okay sentence, then another.After I was done, I reworked the lede to be more attention grabbing. I tightened up paragraphs and replaced verbs with more active ones. I stripped out any passive voice. Most of all, I made sure that I was writing the truth as I saw it to the best of my ability. I write novels in the same way. First and foremost, I do the reporting. I research the topics that I want to explore, write up character psych profiles, back stories, and arcs, outline the plot and themes. I write this all up in a book bible. Then, I start the story. Sometimes, the words aren’t great. The verb choice is bland. The characters sound mechanical. I end up deleting dialogue, scrapping entire scenes. I’ll decide that a day’s work was wasted. But, I never stare at the screen waiting for inspiration of the perfect sentence to come to mind. I believe that my fingers will find the sentence if they just keep moving. Writers write. And if we can’t think of what we want to say, we write until we figure it out.