A colleague and I were discussing a former employee who had been hired (briefly) for a technical writing position.

“To be honest,” my co-worker said, “she simply couldn’t write her way out of a box.”

The image stuck in my mind, and I started thinking about a frustrated writer trapped inside a big brown box, scribbling furiously up and down the sides of it attempting to write their way out.

It’s easy for writers to get boxed in by fear, lack of confidence, being undisciplined. The walls of the box seem insurmountable, and we struggle valiantly to gain some kind foothold so we can work into the light of day.

Confession time.

The walls of my own box are papered with unfinished writing projects and scraps of ideas that never come to fruition.

I’m great at starting things, not so great at seeing them through to the end.

In order to persevere, I need the impetus of an outside deadline. This gives me validation to spend the amount of time and effort needed to complete the project.

Then I write, write, write, until I’m up the walls and outside of the box.

How about you? Are you writing your way out of a box, or scrabbling up the sides? What’s papering the walls of your writer’s box?

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