that terrifying blank page.

This post was first shared in Issue 2 of the writing advice column of my newsletter These Sacred Words.

If you’re a writer, you know what I’m talking about. That dreaded feeling of sitting in front of a blank page and having absolutely no idea what to say. The whiteness of the page seems to laugh at you and the nothingness seems to bore into your soul.

I used to be paralyzed by the blank page (let’s be real – I still am). I sit down, open up my computer, stare at the blank screen for approximately .5 seconds, get frustrated when the right words don’t come to mind, shut my computer, and move on with the day feeling as if I’ll never have anything good enough to say.

So here is my advice to the writer who is intimidated by the blank page and the feeling of emptiness it brings:

Just start. Press into the discomfort (sound familiar?). Allow yourself to hear the silence and feel the uneasy tension for a bit. Stare at that blank page until the words come. They might not be great words. You might scrap all your original content by the second (or third or fourth) revision. You might end up just writing about a childhood memory or the dream you had the night before. But don’t let the blank page keep you paralyzed. 

Just write.

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