Overcome the Blank Page

Every writer has a moment when the blank page mocks their creativity with blank emptiness. This is normal. Even if we have been writing at full power for years, we can still have a day when the blank page causes us to stumble.

Take a moment. Breathe. Pray, if you pray.

Set a timer.

When the time starts, start writing. Don’t stop. Don’t look back. Don’t question. Don’t pay attention to spelling, grammar, anything. If you are typing, turn off the screen and type with wild abandon. If you are writing with pen or pencil, close your eyes and keep the pen moving. Just write.

Write until the timer goes off.

Now, take a deep breath again. Look back at what you’ve written.

Maybe it’s garbage. Maybe you transposed your fingers on the keys and your writing looks like this: fkdadplgkgn;lnlradakfjoc! Maybe your pen went off the paper and you’re going to have to clean off your desk. It’s okay. The page isn’t blank any more. You conquered it.

Now, you can write again. Use a timer, if needed. Find a writing prompt, if needed.

Just write again. Write with your eyes open, but don’t allow yourself to stop for typos, grammar errors, or spelling mistakes. Keep writing. When you have a page, or three, or five, or you feel like you’ve found a stopping point, or your hand has cramped up, stop.

Now, look back again. Are there diamond moments in the rough? I know there are. You may need to dig. Find your best writing diamond and highlight it in bright colors. Ignore the rest of the mess (unless you think there’s an unpolished gem in there, too).

Repeat this process every day.

Write. Write it muddy, rough, and rocky. Mine the rough draft for gems. Write again. Once the blank page is conquered, anything is possible.

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