We’ve all experienced the stark terror of staring at a blank page. While we may have an intended topic or a brilliant idea, the thought of conquering the unknown mocks us, and we freeze. What is more perfect than a pristine page? How can we possibly live up to the expectations? How do we proceed? An old saying counsels that we make a trail by walking. It is only when we turn around that we “find” a path. Art teachers encourage their students to make one mark on the canvas.
Sheer physical willpower is my answer. Whether it is bold and daring, or meek and uncertain, action leads to action. I force my fingers to move. I ignore the panic and type whatever words reach my fingertips. No matter how crazy it sounds, or banal, or weird the phrases seem, I let them flow. I push negative thoughts from my mind, shush my inner critic, and turn off my editor.
With each successive word, the process becomes less forced, and I can feel a trickle that promises the flood. As I relax, sentences emerge, which quickly spin into paragraphs. Hours pass, and the once barren page, now overflows, leaking across multiple sheets with a story.
How do you conquer a blank page?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer