Someone asked me the other day about writer’s block and I thought hmmm, not really a problem for me. I have lots of ideas. But there is still a lot of screen staring going on. Ideas come, but they’re simply not good. I could bang out 1,000 words at one time, but the words wouldn’t be great. They wouldn’t even be good. The dialogue would be corny, the descriptions generic, the prose dragging. I’d have to rewrite everything.
In my first book, I did this a lot. And I rewrote a lot. Now, I’m trying to get it better the first time. I can’t explain how awesome it feels to go back and read something I’ve written and be able to say, “Wow, there’s some good stuff here,” instead of “Man, this need a lot of work.” It ups the quality of my writing every time and makes me reluctant to settle for my first thought. Because, frankly, my first thoughts aren’t that good.
I watched a movie the other day where someone said they were a terrible writer, but were amazing at rewrites. I totally agree with this, but want my first draft to be good and then reach for great. This sometimes leaves me staring at a white screen, cursor blinking impatiently, but I think it’s worth it. And maybe that’s what writer’s block really is: not a moment void of ideas, but a moment filled with ideas that just aren’t good enough. If that’s the case, then I have a serious case of writer’s block–and I won’t be looking for a cure.