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NEVER STARE AT A BLANK PAGE

June 13, 2017

For those that know me, that have been keeping track, you know this isn’t an issue with me. I never have a problem with a blank page. However, I know people that do. This is for you!

THE PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS

When you sit down to write and pull up a blank page, there’s often something you probably don’t think about when you pull up a blank page.

What does that blank page tell you?

What’s the one thing it might be saying to you that you haven’t thought about before?

What if you’re a glass is half empty person?

Is it coming to you yet?

Okay, here it is, spelled out for you.

I CAN’T!

That’s right. When you pull up that blank page and stare at it, unprepared, with no inspiration, with no idea what you’re going to write, that blank page is telling you “you can’t.”

That blank page is your first roadblock.

No, let me take that back. It’s your second roadblock. Your first was already making up your mind you had nothing to say. Just sitting down and pulling up the blank page isn’t going to make it better. It’s not going to spur you on if you have a blank slate to start out with.

YOU HAVE TO HAVE IDEAS TO BEGIN WITH

As a writer, if this is a passion rather than a hobby, the ideas are in you. They hit you every waking minute, maybe in your dreams as well. You should be brimming with ideas. Whether you keep them locked away in your memory, write them in sticky notes, or record them with a voice recorder for future use, somewhere, somehow, you store these ideas away for future use.

When you sit down at that blank page, it’s all a matter of choice. THAT, my friends, is the real dilemma. Picking which one to start with, rather than not having any.

HAVING TOO MANY IDEAS – CHOOSING ONE

Well before sitting down to that blank page, you should be at least toying with one, of not several ideas of what you want to do, whether a novel, short story, or article. You should be mentally preparing yourself for one if not several possible routes, so that when you sit down, whether it be a spontaneous moment, or a planned session, you can start right away. No time wasting, no dawdling.

DON’T WASTE TIME START-STOPPING

Okay, how many of you started something, thought it sucked and stopped, only to move on to something else? How many of you accumulated a whole bunch of these start stop somethings?

Now…how many of you ERASED all those start stop somethings?

I have a better idea.

How about saving them and keeping them for possible future use? You never know how these aborted attempts might end up being useful in something unrelated to how you originally used them. Ever thought of that?

Just an idea.

My first ever completed novel, The Cave will never see the light of day. However I’ve never tossed it. Why? It’s complete, after all. It sucks, but I finished it. One day, I may drag it out and either fix it or turn it into something else. I certainly won’t erase all that effort for nothing.

In any case, when you sit down, the idea isn’t to start and then stop and start over again. When you get down to it, you should know what you’re doing and be able to get there. Some of that comes from experience and a lot of it comes with confidence. Some of it’s just plain doing, then worrying about editing later, as well.

The whole point is that now you’re not staring at a blank page. You’re actually doing something. The page isn’t blank anymore.

SUMMARY

If you’re prepared ahead of time, you should NEVER sit down and stare at a blank page. Sitting down and staring at a blank page and expecting the ideas to come to you is doing it bass-ackwards. You have to have a reason to sit down in the first place, otherwise you may be creating a psychological barrier you may never be able to break again.

Happy writing!

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