Defeating the Blank Page
The blog has been set up, near enough and I can’t wait to get started. I open up Evernote, create a new note, then…nothing. The cursor blinks intermittently on the bright white screen and I’ve gone blank.
I’m not the first and won’t be the last to suffer the curse of the blank page. The empty space suddenly seems to beg a certain expectation from you, that the space needs to be filled with beautiful words…or else. Stage fright sets in — what if what I write is crap? Will my words be worthy of the page, or an audience even? Nothing’s happening… You wonder if this was really a good idea in the first place and doubt everything you thought you could do as a writer.
“Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.” — Neil Gaiman
I’ve found that the key is just to start writing. Write anything and everything that pops into your mind. A stream of consciousness, or something trivial that you can’t get out of your head. If you keep a goals or bullet journal, look at your daily wins, lessons learned and gratitudes and pick one. Start there. Look at social media sites like Pinterest or Instagram and write about anything you see that inspires you — a beautiful picture, a funny (yet true) meme or a powerful quote. Anything to get a flow going.
Get those words down. Don’t think too much, just let it flow. You can tweak it later or write something different. It might be something you don’t want to publish, but it has sparked another more wonderful piece.
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” — Louis L’Amour
If you’re happy with what you have scribbled/typed down, be brave and hit the publish button. Even if you’re not looking to get vast amounts of recognition, it’s good practice to take the plunge. The first one is always the worst. But then it’s out there, in the big wide world where someone may possibly stumble upon it. It gets you over the initial fear of sending something you have created into the digital jungle that is the internet. Once you overcome that fear, you will find posting blogs isn’t so scary.
This is a new blog for me and I just wanted to get cracking, yet looking at the blank screen in front of me, I felt inadequate, afraid and daunted. It stopped me writing yesterday and I noted it as a lesson learned in my journal. I went back to that this morning and used that lesson to work with. I started with just some bullet points then filled it out into what you are reading here.
Writing is my passion and this is a great experience for me. I’ve blogged before and when I do, I gain more confidence in my own ability to write so I can use that confidence for other projects. It’s also an interesting method of writing, for which I enjoy playing with and gain more and more experience in. And if someone finds my writing is inspiring or is of help to them, then that’s just an added bonus.
“Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.” — Ray Bradbury
The bottom line though is if you love writing, keep doing it no matter what. Even if it’s not on a blogging platform, it doesn’t matter — it could be personal notes or journal writing, memoirs; the list is endless. Write for the love of it, for the feeling it gives you. That’s the heart of it.
Now, go fill that blank page!
Originally published at http://fayegaston.postach.io/ on 21st June 2017