A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God.”- Sidney Sheldon

BSOD or Blue Screen of Death is an error screen displayed on a Windows computer system after a fatal system error.

Writers have something called a WSOD or White Screen of Death. It looks something like this:

Legend says that if you stare at this screen for long enough you’ll either:

a. get sleepy or even fall asleep

b. get hungry

c. get frustrated and throw your computer off a window

It’s the most complicated set of emotions a person will ever face. To stare at that screen, not even a single word passing between your ears, your mind just as white and innocent as the screen itself. It’s terrifying. It’s the sort of agony they reserve to those select few who make it to the deepest circle of Hell. Maybe even they are exempt from such terror.

Funny.

You start with a blank screen. With nothing at all. And then words appear on it. Not magically. You type them in. But still. There’s a bit of magic in that.

The act of creation is a beautiful mystery to those who never tried it.

To the rest of us, it’s sort of like being slowly boiled in a tub of water. It’s the kind of process you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemies. And the bitter truth is this: if we want to be consistent enough to grow an audience, we’ve got to fight the WSOD on a daily basis.

The reason so many of us find it difficult to just punch the damn keys is because willpower, discipline, and good old-fashioned work may squeeze another 500 or so words out of you but to produce words effortlessly, to connect with the joy and optimism and inspiration which makes it all worthwhile, you need to know how to nurture abstraction and your hard-working subconscious.

Writing a book is certainly not for the faint of heart, but if you've always wondered if there are some strategic and tactical ways to improve your odds of writing a good book, consider this to be the ultimate guide.

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