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All writers know the feeling. They look at the computer screen, and it’s right where they left it the previous day, not even a complete sentence, just a phrase with a comma where they got stuck and decided to let it go till tomorrow.

But today there’s nothing.

What was the idea? There was an idea in your mind, ill-formed though it may have been, as to how that sentence was going to end. What was it?

Push on through, type something, anything. Nah. That’s not it. Delete delete delete delete delete.

Catch up on e-mails instead. Clear your head.

It’s the darn comma. Maybe if I take out the comma that will suggest something.

Then finally this morning I woke up with a stomachache about 1:30, decided to come to the living room because I couldn’t get back to sleep, turned on the computer and there it was. Not just the end of the sentence, but the whole rest of the paragraph, and an understanding of where the chapter needed to go.

That was the source of the block, of course. Not the simple words to complete the sentence, but the loss of certainty about the larger task. And once I started to type, the sense of certainty showed up.

The old truism, “How can I know what I want to say until I see what I’ve said?” is, well, truist.

Writers, take heart. It’ll come.

 

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