The blank page syndrome.
There are times that I am filled with self-doubt. Am I ever going to be decent writer?
Like today, most of the times I just stare at an empty page waiting to craft the perfect 1st sentence or paragraph.
Even today I have been thinking about what I wanted to write and when I couldn’t think of anything, I thought I am just going to wing it.
I opened a word document and then spent the next 15 minutes just staring at a blank screen. It frustrates me to no ends.The sense of frustration is gradually replaced by panic when I imagine having to write 50,000 words for a book.
I try to be reasonable and try to break it down to smaller task like any sane person would.
In my mind I decided that I am only going to write 500 words every day (500 words won’t be a challenge I thought) still it would take me 100 days just to hit the 50 thousand mark.
I haven’t even taken into account the editing and re-writing it is going to take.
What about the 100 false starts I will be taking every day and dealing with the frustration of staring at a blank page each day 100 times? All of this assuming I write 500 words everyday without breaking the chain.
Just imagining this makes me uneasy and a little voice in my head says, “It’s too difficult, you can’t do it” or “It’s not possible now, not with a full time job at least”. The more I think about it the louder the voices gets to a point when I even give up on the idea of publishing a book even before getting started.
Yesterday I wrote about how taking a cold shower now it’s not a big deal for me anymore.
Come to think of it, I see a very similar attitude towards both the end products i.e. a cold shower in the morning and writing a book. I think about it, get discouraged and I have already quit before I even got started.
What If I could apply the same principles that I applied to make try and make cold showers a habit?
The 30 day challenge is a step towards making writing a habit, but habits are very precise. I couldn’t have made cold shower a habit if I decided to take a shower anytime during the day when I felt like it.
It happened at a precise time each and every day.
This was a very important piece of puzzle that I failed to observe until I came across a fantastic post by Jeff Goins.
This also tells me that just knowing for knowledge is useless if you don’t know how to apply the knowledge for your benefit.
So to make writing a habit, I need to be precise as Jeff suggested in this post and create a daily ritual for writing.