A Blank Page

WritingIt’s 6.10am. I’ve just been staring at a blank screen for a good 20 minutes now, and add that on to last night’s staring match, you’ve got yourself a good hour and a half of writing nothing.

Writing is a compulsion for me. It’s strange not to write. But some days, the words just don’t appear. It’s increasingly frustrating as all that energy you had the day before (or even the hour before) has drained away and left you feeling a bit blank.

So instead you write a blog post about being uninspired.

Inspired, I know.

Then there’s the terrible realisation that you haven’t been published yet. And those that have been published are of a far different calibre to you. Some of them might be worse writers than you (in your opinion), but most of them are pretty damn impressive. Meanwhile, you’re left with a blank page, a blog post about a blank page, and that terrible urge to scrap your latest Work in Progress (because it’s really rubbish now you think about it), and give up being a writer for good.

I probably go through this process about three times a week. Then I rant about it over Twitter and Facebook (that lesser-known counsellor, social media) and then I think of something and start writing again. It’s all very predictable.

At 6.25am I’m going to have to face facts – it’s time to start my day as a grown-up and get ready for the 9-5. There’s nothing I hate more than leaving a blank page, and I have been known to write “njknafosngf” just to make sure it’s not blank any more. I heard once that a particular author (Terry Pratchett? Philip Pullman?) makes sure they always write the last sentence of the day on a new page so that when they come back to it, they don’t have to begin with a blank.

I like the idea of leaving something to come back to. But sometimes the effort is just too much. Especially at 6.30 in the morning.

How do you tackle your blank page?

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