About The Blank Page
It can be daunting, staring at a blank page. Sure, it’s pure potential, but potential isn’t a thing. It’s an abstraction. Until the gauntlet is thrown down and you find yourself in the arena, whatever might be is somewhere between never and no place.
Still, there’s no sense in psyching oneself out. I remember the first time I faced the blank page. I wrote a ridiculous story that lacked every element of story. It was basically a description of a place and a vibe—no plot, no real characters, no inciting incident, no momentum—it totally sucked.
So I pulled up another blank page. Same thing happened. And again. And again. And so forth.
Pretty sure I washed the hope from my hands and went and played video games. Probably watched baseball.
But I’m cursed with excitement. Crap fires me up. Later, I was reading Vonnegut, and the laughter was out loud. The sense of awe at the man’s wit and storytelling was palpable. I doubled down. And I pushed out a full length novel, through the ups and downs and all the emotional tribulation that comes with it. The excitement overrode the failure and the blank page, imploring me to do something worthy of my own.
A lot of things can make you face the unknown. Poverty, desperation, pure ego, a purist’s love for the art (very rare) or the desire to be a heralded link in the chain of remembered words.
Whatever it takes. And of course, much of the time it’s a chore. I understand that as well as anyone.
Before you roll your eyes at the screen or at your day or that next project, maybe chew on this: Everything you’ve ever been or seen or done might seep its way in and out, and that’s a lot of stuff. A lot of cool stuff that could entertain. A lot of sad stuff that might warrant others’ reflection. A lot of lessons that people could learn from. Your perspective. It’s the only one like it. Your experiences. No one’s seen them with your eyes.
So when confronted with the white and cursor, make your excuses if you have to—just don’t say there’s nothing to say. The fact that you don’t know how is a symptom of too much, not the problem of too little.
Cheers. Kick some ass. See you after.