Blank Screens and Urgent Projects

I wrote a whole lot of words yesterday, words for my blog, words for a story to enter into a contest, even words for my paying work. So many words. Yesterday's words were easy. They were written to deadlines, at least of a sort. I needed to plug Creep here because it's coming out soon. The contest for my story has a more distant deadline, but I knew that if I want to be a professional I needed to send it my friends who are nice enough to critique it with plenty of time--so I buckled down and got the first 'final' draft finished. Writing for work, meanwhile, is work: something that needs to be done on time and well.

Today's motivations are different, so the writing turns out to be harder. I used to think writers were ever thus, but I have concluded after years of observations that all humans are ever thus: we need approaching deadlines to focus our minds and our efforts.

The blank screen intimidates more in this time between the deadlines. It's not writer's block: I have never in my life experienced writer's block; I have only ever experienced more to write than I have time to put down. The intimidation is more from having too much to say than too little. Without a clear next project, which story do I even try to tell?

Of course, I have plenty of stories in progress. I just need to pick one, and there's one I neglected while on a vacation. I think I have my next deadline.