Sixteen years as a freelance journalist
has taught me that neither the absence
of ‘the muse’ nor the presence of ‘the block’
should be allowed to hinder the orderly progress of a book.
One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly.
I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what
and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want.
I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me
no further behind than if I took the day off.
Being a freelance writer is not easy work. Some never make it. Some never try. But there are some that push through their fear of where their next paycheck will come from. They push back against the blank page. They write. Even knowing that it might be crap. They write because the very act of getting words down will move them one tiny step forward. Even if five pages of work only nets them one useable sentence….it’s one sentence closer to the goal.
What Will You Do in the Presence of the Block?
Are you going to let the presence of the block affect your writing? Or will you do something about it? What is your goal today? How many words? How many pages?