The Fear Of The Blank Page

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

I’ve been sitting here, staring at this page for the best part of half an hour. It’s late, and I’m tired, and my eyes are bleary, so it’s a really good thing that I can touch type, because otherwise, who knows what sort of jibberish you might be about to read.

The thing is, that being a writer comes with this curse. At least seven times a week, I am struck down; frozen, by the sight of a blank page. As writers, we are a slave to our art. Our brains don’t always agree with our need to write: to create, and these times (for me, at least) are absolute hell.

Imagine you have all these ideas and thoughts spinning and spiralling around in your brain, and you can’t find the way to get them out of your head, because the one thing that you’re supposed to be able to do; the only thing you’re good at, deserts you.

That empty page is freaking scary! It holds so much promise and potential, and with it, comes a hefty dose of fear: fear that you will mess it up; fear that you’re not good enough; fear that, once on the page, these words that sound so good inside your head, won’t seem anywhere near as good.

The truth, though, is that it isn’t always about things looking good. Sometimes, it is the act of writing; of getting started, that is the most important thing. This is something that you only learn from trial and manyerrors.

I wish I could tell you the key to making writer’s block just disappear, but the truth is that there isn’t one. In fact, the only advice I can give you, is to just start writing. Start filling up that page, even if it seems like you’re writing absolute nonsense, because, I promise you that somewhere, in amongst all those words that seem like total rubbish, is a spark of something brilliant. You just need to find it (but that’s a whole other blog post).

I’m not the authority on beating writer’s block, far from it, but I do know that the best idea in the world, trapped inside your head is less useful that a thousand, mediocre words on a page. Just remember that you can always edit. You can always redraft, but you need words in order to do this, and the only way to get words, is to write: to write as if your life depends on it.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say, is that, when faced with that dreaded blank page, the best thing you can do, as the fear reaches around your throat, is to feel that fear, I mean, really feel it, and then start writing anyway.

Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.


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