The Blank Page

As a writer, there is arguably nothing more daunting and simultaneously exhilarating than starting with a blank page. Whether you’re writing a novel, a blog post, or even just a personal journal entry, the blank page can feel like a hostile adversary, mocking you with its blinding whiteness and lack of direction.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. The blank page is a canvas for our creativity, a fresh start to explore new ideas and our way to bring something new into the world. After all, doesn’t creativity breed creativity? I know a man who said that once.

So why does it often feel so terrifying?

Perhaps it’s because we put too much pressure on ourselves to get it right the first time. We want our words to flow seamlessly, to perfectly capture the essence of our thoughts and emotions. We want the grammar to be spot on. We want the formatting of the page to look good. But the truth is, the first draft is rarely perfect. In fact, it’s often far from it. And that’s okay. As writers, we have to learn to accept that.

So how do we accept it? One of the most helpful approaches to taming the blank page is to embrace the messiness of the creative process. Don’t worry about grammar or sentence structure for now – just jot down your ideas, your feelings, your observations. Get them out of your head and onto the page, even if they don’t make sense at first.

Another useful technique is to break down the writing process into small, manageable steps. Instead of trying to conquer the entire blank page at once, set a goal for yourself to write just a paragraph or even just a sentence. Celebrate each small victory and keep building on it.

It’s also important to recognise that the blank page is not your enemy. It’s simply a tool, a blank slate upon which you can create something new. View it as an opportunity to explore and experiment, to take risks and try something different.

Ultimately, conquering the blank page comes down to mindset. We need to shift our thinking from fear to curiosity, from pressure to playfulness. Remember that there are no right or wrong words, only your words.

And the more you write, the less intimidating that blank page will become.