Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Blank Page

The Blank Page

Nothing is worse for a writer than staring at a blank page. Be it notebook paper, printer paper or a blank word processing document, that whiteness calls to you, mocks you, calls you a fraud. I know, because I was experiencing all of that just a few moments ago as I stared at the blank page that is now this blog post. What made it worse was that as I was starting at this page, I know, KNEW, that I had this totally awesome idea for today’s blog post. But, like an idiot, I didn’t write it down. Why would I? The idea was so awesome, how could I possible forget it? Well, obviously, I did. And so here I sat, staring at a blank page.

But, I didn’t stare long. Because here’s something I learned about being a writer, or, really, any kind of artist. Newton’s First Law applies to writing (or painting, sculpting, cooking, etc) as well. Meaning, as long as I’m not writing, I will continue to not write. But if I start writing something, anything, I will continue to write. Writing begets more writing. So I started by writing “The Blank Page” at the top of this document. It wasn’t much, but here I am, 200 words later, and I’m still writing. And that, my friends, is the real secret. If you find yourself staring at a blank page, or you’re stuck in the middle of your story, just write something. Anything, even if it’s the same word over and over again, and eventually the momentum of writing will take over, and before you know it, you’ll have a few hundred words down and a new direction to go in that you never planned on.

So, there you go. Short blog post today, but one I think that is ultimately important. Keep writing, keep that momentum going, because a writer in writing motion tends to stay in writing motion.

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