Lana Vaughan


Cursing the Cursor

Every writer has an arch nemesis. It usually a single vertical black line. Sometimes we spend the critical time needed to explore the setting on our computer and change it to something more interesting but then find the interesting even more taunting than the simple line so we change it back.

It binks so we know it is awake and waiting to move across the screen at our command. Each letter of each word and the punctuation and spaces force it to the right until it jumps back to the left to start it’s journey again.

It has nothing better to do than to sit and wait and blink.

When we start putting those words into place it doesn’t resist. It doesn’t judge or evaluate the structure of the sentences or the frequent misspellings and typos. It just moves forward or, again at our command, back to where it has already been.

It doesn’t give us writer’s block or cheer when we make a breakthrough in plot, character development, brilliant dialogue or life changing insight. It really doesn’t care.

But, and this is a big BUT…if it isn’t moving forward…if it’s just sitting there blinking…there will be no breakthroughs in plot. The characters will not develop. The dialogue will not be exchanges and the life changing insights might still happen but they won’t be captured for later reconsideration.

So move the line forward. Put the words together. Correct the spelling as needed. Count on someone to let you know if your grammar is wacked or you end your sentences with prepositions.

But write…don’t let the blinking cursor get the best of you.

(And if you are not a writer, my guess is there is a cursor in your life waiting to be moved, too.)

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