Saturday, September 5, 2015

Fear of the Blank Page

We all hit that wall sometimes. That wall of indecisiveness. The wall that tells us, "Ye shall not pass!" What do you do when you hit this wall? I'm here to tell you that you have a sledgehammer, drill, jackhammer, nail file, gummy bear, feather, or whatever else you need to knock down that wall.

I'm not going to address a lot of the things that cause writer's block like distractions, being tired, Godzilla, etc.. I want to talk about the horror of facing that blank page with only your pen to save you. Your mind is completely blank of ideas, palms are sweaty, and the blank page is staring at you like a monster that wants to eat your Cheerios. Don't let it eat your Cheerios!

Bring Your Passion

What are you passionate about right at that moment? Write about it! Everything you know about that subject. I can hear you complaining already "But I have a deadline on this other thing!" Do you want that page to get filled or do you want it to be blank? I've got the controls here, I'm drunk with power, and I order you to write! WRAAA!

Sometimes the reason you can't place pen to paper is that you have something else eating at you inside desperately wanting to come out and play. You have to play with that monster inside of you before it gets angry and makes you stuff marshmallows in your mouth until your throat becomes parched. Do you want a parched throat? It's the first step to making sure you can't scream.

Play with the monster and it will cooperate. It may even help you come up with ideas on that thing you should be working on. It could become a pet that you share with friends and pees on the shoes of people you don't like.

Mark The Page

Place the pen on the page and make a line, a circle, a square, a smiley face with a dragon body, anything that makes the page not blank. That can be enough to clear a mental block sometimes. If it doesn't then you may need to scribble on the page until it is one ball of unholy mess. It is necessary to exercise the demons that are possessing the page. Tear it out of the notebook and burn it while chanting "The Power of Christ Compels You!" Now you don't have to worry about that demon keeping you from writing. Did that work? No?

Find a starter, a writing prompt, a beginning. You can use something you have already written, or another article/blog on the same subject. With a point of origin already on paper, you don't have to worry about that blank page problem. The first few steps are taken already you can jump right into things like a ninja. Don't forget your smoke bombs, throwing stars, and Skittles of death. Once you finish, you can always go back and edit/rewrite the beginning to make it your own.

I have found that doing these two things can help immensely when trying to conquer the horror of the blank page. If you have any tips of your own please don't be shy. Share them with me. I need to know! I have a comments section and probably know you from social media. My monster might pee on your shoes if I have to hunt you down for your secrets.

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