When I see a blank page, I often have to dialogue with myself. So many questions arise: Am I good enough to write? Should I be doing something more worthy? What if no one ever wants to read my work?
These voices in my head can be deafening. They often take much of my energy. If I let them, they drain me and keep me scrolling social media or talking on the phone. Sometimes I rationalize about the never-ending laundry that I need to conquer, and my need to organize my finances. Did I mention I need to clean out my closet?
This mind chatter that arises when I see that blank page is because before I even begin to write I let myself believe that I am not good enough, that what I have to say doesn’t matter. I am not as good as Janet Fitch or Ann Patchett.
It feels like the white page is a black hole that sucks me into a place I have to fight to get out.
All the characters and their storylines, all my memories that I so desire to communicate get lost. They are sucked into the darkness.
Taking a deep breath, I pull one word out at a time, one image, or one line of dialogue. I do not look for protectionism but honesty. I remind myself that whatever I write today can be revised tomorrow.
Prolific writer Jodi Picoult says,
“You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”
I have written an award-winning novel, Out of the Shadows. My manuscript SELF PORTRAIT is on an editor’s desk as I write this. My YA manuscript was sent to a world-renowned agent.
Writing for me isn’t easy. But once I get past the white page, once I move away from the back hole, I settle into the magic of creating with words and sentences.
If I fight the process that is when I feel anxious, so I let the voices settle. I remind myself of what the author of The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron says.
“Creativity is always a leap of faith…