The pen is mightier than the sword.
Given this it is easy to think that there is nothing that frightens a writer, after all, we are armed with a powerful, albeit virtual, pen. But unfortunately it’s not true, we have fears and the biggest is to face the blank page.
What is the fear of the blank page?
You have come up with a great idea, the one that will give rise to that novel that you always wanted to read (we really love to say that). Moved by enthusiasm you sit in front of the computer, open “word” and that’s where it starts.
The cursor blinks tirelessly on the terrifying blank page. Flickers. Flickers. Flickers. And as much as the it flickers, the page remains blank and you only look as it appears and disappears.
You don’t move, you don’t write, you don’t think; you just wait for a miracle to happen so that the muse comes to rescue you. But there is no worthy muse, you are alone in the face of danger, thankfully you have a pen to defend yourself.
Use your pen!
Do you have a pen (pencil, keyboard, etc.)? Then use it, we have already agreed that a pen is even better than a sword.
Whenever you want to write something from scratch, be it a novel, an essay or an article you will have to face the blank page. I’m going to give you a couple of tips to overcome that block:
- Sometimes all you need is a little respite. Get up, make yourself a cap of tea or coffee, or get a glass of wine. Then you sit down again and the blank page is not so scary.
- You can also try writing anything that comes to mind: the shopping list, an anecdote that you have lived … What matters is to enter the dynamics of writing, as soon as you have taken to writing it will be easier to get your project.
- In the previous post I talked about the map and compass writers. To all the compass writers who read this, I hate being a bearer of bad news, but this fear is easily cured by researching, planning and structuring what you are going to write. The more you know about what you are going to write, the easier it will to write.
- But if you are a compass writer you are not going to plan meticulously just because I tell you. In this case, the good news is that writing a brief outline of what you want to write is usually enough. I do this chapter by chapter and it works very well for me.
With or without a pen, the blank page is something that all writers (and people who have had to write something at some point in their lives have) faced. But as you can see it is not that bad, with effort, patience and planning everything flows to the right direction.
Now the bad news: Not only can you face the terror of the blank page when you start a text, but when you start each chapter!