…now yesterday, I was asking if anyone needed help.
Lynne got back to me with this problem…”
I have to get over the fear of the blank page. – How do I do this????”
I’m sure a lot of people have that problem, I know I used to.
Looking at a blank page can be intimidating.
Whether that’s a social media image, a blog post, a piece of fiction, or whatever, there’s nothing as lonely as a blinking cursor on a blank page.
But can a blank page do you any harm?
So why do we fear it?
To me, the obvious reason is that we put ourselves under pressure before we even begin. We look at that blank page and see it as something that needs to have something perfect put on it.
Give that page to a toddler, and hand them a crayon, and they’ll happily scribble all over it. – They couldn’t give a damn what goes on it.
You, on the other hand, are already worried about what judgment someone is going to pass on what you put on that page.
Because…..if you were the only person in the world, just like Will Smith was in the movie ‘I am Legend’….you’d write whatever you wanted on that page.
There’s no pressure on you.
So to Lynn, and anyone that’s got a fear of a blank page, I’d firstly recommend doing one thing, take that other person out of the equation altogether. – There is no blog reader, there is no one on social media, there is no fiction reader, they don’t exist. All there is…is you and that page.
You don’t have to please anyone, you don’t have to impress anyone, and there’s no one that can criticize you because no one exists. – It’s just you and that page.
Now that that pressure is off your shoulders, I’d recommend something I heard the great Chris McClukie say once.
Come up with the worst ideas you could put on that page, and start making a list.
What’s the worst quote you could put on a social media image?… List them.
What’s the worst blog post you could write today?… List them.
What’s the worst fiction idea you could write today? … List them.
Now…you’ll find that because you’re coming up with the worst they’ll come easily to you. But if you stick with it long enough, that tenth worst idea mightn’t seem like a bad one.
Or if you combine ideas seven and fifteen together you’ll find it could be something interesting to work on.
But stick with it long enough and you’ll find some of those dumb ideas aren’t so dumb, and you’ll find a golden nugget in that list.
And finally, I’d recommend doing what the great copywriter Gary Halbert used to do when his mind went blank.
Just write ‘Blah, blah, blah’ over and over again until a thought comes to you.
Now, while that might seem a little weird to do, I used to use it the odd time when my mind went blank.
Funny thing is, your brain will soon get bored of typing those words over and over again and you’ll find ideas come to you.
First – the odd word – then a sentence – then a thought – and before you know it you’re up and writing.
It’s like towing a broken-down car to get it up to speed. Once it’s rolling fast enough, you let out the clutch, it coughs into life, and you’re off to the races.
Hopefully, that’s helped Lynne out, and maybe you too.
Remember, a blank page can’t harm you.
It’s you that’s putting too much expectation on it.
And if it does end up crap, you can always delete it so no one will even know it even existed. 🙂
And finally, for those budding fiction writers out there who dread a blank page when they’re plotting out their books… I’d go here.
Have a good one!