The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

Progress report


Staring at the screen went pretty well today. I squinted a couple of times, and cocked my head once at the last sentence. I thought about changing it, but then decided against it.

My eyes seem to be working well–I can see the last thing I typed, and exactly where the next word should go. As it will be a new paragraph, I have the indentation for it, and I checked that several times.

Also feel pretty good about rolling my shoulders as I looked at the spot where the next word will go, and about standing up and walking around, opening the fridge, closing the fridge, and sitting again. Sometimes getting up and moving can be a very important part of staring at the screen. I know it feels like, when you move around, you aren’t properly staring, but after a bit of motion, you can come back and stare in a more relaxed state.

I know for beginning writers, it can be difficult to know just how to stare at a screen. I wish I could help you on that, but everyone is so different. For me, sitting back and scowling works really well, but others need to crack their knuckles, and some have to pound on the desk for the stare to be really effective. You just need to find what works for you.

Okay, this was a little break for me; now that screen is waiting, and it won’t stare at itself!


Author: skzb

I play the drum.


  1. Momma said there’d be days like this
    There’d be days like this
    Momma said
    Momma said there’d be days like this
    There’d be days like this, Momma said.

  2. Someone once told me that Point of View could solve all my writing problems. Maybe your chair is too high? Or too low? Or off to one side? I mean, if you’re staring at the screen from the wrong angle, I’m nearly certain it doesn’t end up doing any good at all.

  3. Remember, when in doubt, have Raymond Chandler come through the door with a gun.

  4. I suppose it is relatively easy for you to come up with titles for your Vlad novels (but you’re running low on topics). What’s this one?

  5. Majikjon, is right. POV will solve all writing problems. We just need the POV of a brilliant writer.

  6. The screen was staring at itself all along.

  7. Invest in the squeaking chair. If you also make it one that has a crack on the middle of the seat then a slight adjustment of positional staring while wearing any thin material will create a pinching sensation reminiscence of dropping a cigarette cherry on your privates

  8. I laughed a lot at this, and then I cried a little.

  9. Take care, for when you gaze long into a screen, the screen also gazes into you.

  10. It looks like you’re writing a novel.

    Would you like help?

    ○ Get help with writing the novel

    ○ Just type the novel without help

    □ Don’t show me this tip again

  11. I read some advice from an excellent published author on what to do when you’ve perfected staring at a screen and you are ready for the next step. I think his name had the initials SKZB.

    Anyway, to paraphrase, “Write something. Anything.”

    I don’t know how useful that is, but I’ve always found it beneficial for making a white screen black.

    And: I’m so excited! Love your stories.

  12. This made me laugh out loud. Thanks.

  13. And if you’re me, part of that process is getting terrible eye-strain and headaches for years and then finally investing in a low-blue light monitor for day-time use and an e-ink monitor for night-time use. Then, finally, you can stare in peace!

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