Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.
– Gene Fowler, American Writer and Journalist
It’s hard to tell which is worse – not having any ideas or having so many ideas that you don’t know where to start. Either way, that blank page gets such a kick out of staring you down. Mocking you. Daring – outright daring – you to forge ahead with whatever little butterfly of an idea is fluttering around in your brain.
The key to breaking through? Start writing. The words will flow if only you will open the spigot.
That’s how this post came to be. Because the blank page’s offensive stank eye was first and foremost on my mind, this is what came out.
Time Yourself. Set a timer for 10, 20 or 30 minutes. And when that time is up, challenge yourself to write for five more minutes.
Tell your internal editor to zip it. Don’t worry about organization, spelling, punctuation, grammar or any other mechanics. Your internal editor should not have an opinion at this initial free flow stage – tell her (or him) to sleep in for a bit. That job comes later.
Keep on typin’. Just keep pressing the keys on your keyboard or keep that pencil moving. You’ll be surprised at what comes out. It’ll often be some of your most authentic work. And even if it’s authentic crap, you’ll still have gotten over that intimidating hurdle of simply staring at a blank screen.
Once you show the blank page who’s in charge, you can move forward to crafting a worthwhile piece (if you haven’t already).
3 thoughts on “Blank Page Staring You Down?”
[…] The Win The blank page can’t stare you down if you’re not looking at it. And when you open your eyes after putting words to the page, that page is no longer blank. You took the hardest step. You started writing. […]
[…] Set a timer Sit your butt down and write for a specific period of time. Even if it’s for only 30 minutes, you’re not allowed to do anything else until that buzzer goes off. No snacks, no chores, no bathroom breaks (go beforehand), no passing Go and collecting $200. Just write. […]
As I sit here once again staring down the ominous blank white page – to be filled in with brilliant legal advice later – I turn to the Rubber Duck. Thanks for the advice.