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The Blank Page (why you little…!)

When you’re a writer, the blank page can be many things to you. It can be your best friend, your most trusted confidant on which you spill everything in perfect prose or in first grade style sentences. It doesn’t care, as long as you fill it.  The blank page can be a new beginning, a fresh ending, or a life raft in the middle of excess.  The blank page, however, can also be your worst nightmare.  It stares at you, mocking, taunting you to fill it when it knows you cannot.  Its stark whiteness shocks your eyes; you can’t stand one more moment looking at it, so fresh, so pristine, so judgmental.  It becomes an object of torture, along with its co-conspirator, the pen.  For days it can stare at you, unsullied and brilliant, just waiting for your words.  During these times you write and cross out and write and cross out or type and highlight and hit “delete” more times than you care to admit.

Maybe the blank page is deeper than we think.  Possibly, we don’t give it enough credit, we just write it off as friend or foe during certain times. What if, however, the blank page is really there as our biggest inspiration?  It should represent freedom, a place where our good thoughts can go and mix with others, and where bad thoughts can scream so loudly, they leave all of the emotion right there on the pages, freeing us from their chains.  Maybe on the days that nothing comes to mind, we should simply write the word “nothing” until it clears out and morphs into something.  This, perhaps, is wishful thinking for most of us, I know. So, maybe on the days that nothing comes to mind, the blank page is just there to remind us that we are human; that sometimes our mind is blocked and we want to relinquish it to a book or T.V. until we are feeling creative again.

I know this should be summed up in a neat little bow that inspires writing, but is that reality? Most times, life does not get wrapped up in a neat little bow; instead it causes us a flow of emotions, all of which remind us of what it is to be human.  Why should writing be any different?

(FINE, it was an uninspired ending, but hello! In case you didn’t get it, the blank page is mocking me, my friend, mocking me!!!)

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.  ~Vladimir Nabakov

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4 responses »

  1. LOL! I’m glad you fill your blank pages. And I like this title – it’s very funny! LOL

    Reply
  2. Ok, so now I know what happened! I read your title and figured out what’s up! And that is a great quality of a writer, if you can see, my initial headers were all silly (no way meant to say that now they are not 😀 ) It happened to me and so many more writers, trust me you are not alone..

    I have started using a strategy that Jonathan Franzen uses, (http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,2010000,00.html), Franzen works in a rented office that he has stripped of all distractions. He uses a heavy, obsolete Dell laptop from which he has scoured any trace of hearts and solitaire, down to the level of the operating system. Because Franzen believes you can’t write serious fiction on a computer that’s connected to the Internet, he not only removed the Dell’s wireless card but also permanently blocked its Ethernet port. “What you have to do,” he explains, “is you plug in an Ethernet cable with superglue, and then you saw off the little head of it.”

    Sorry I have not been able to format the comment, but I hope you get the point 🙂
    That has been working, only one tab open and only one notepad open for writing immediate notes, and then when comments keep coming in, there is an urge to excel and a need to exceed your own expectations with writing the best topic in the world! Stop there, dont think of anything, but your thoughts and what you want to write.. Trust me, the way you are true to yourself shows in your writing and I honestly enjoy them!!

    So, write on and lets not worry about the consequences 🙂
    Also, I constantly read the blogging tip links on my blogroll, please read them when you get a chance, these ladies are unbelievable.. !!
    Rachana.

    Reply

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