The Writing Process Pt.2 – The Blank Page

The Blank Page is another little something that I hear about enough to the point where I would call it both a syndrome and a symptom. A syndrome in that one writer actually probably had it and others fixated on it. There is certainly no shame in it. Merely perhaps a re-purposing of perspective to that of an artist facing a blank canvas.

Personally I have the opposite problem, to me the most intimidating thing in writing is editing; staring at a page full of beautiful, heart-wrenched words and knowing that I must now go in and alter them. There is perhaps no greater fear that I have, that in needing to strive for completion and comprehension for the reader I will destroy something, alter it to the point that its elegance is lost, that its cohesion will ooze away with every edit.

So I can relate to the fear of the blank page. But fear is just the first step in beginning something new. Once you begin the fear fades. As long as you can translate your idea onto the page before you, as long as you posses the necessary instruments then the blank page, or the full page, represents just another step in the process of translating your idea. 

The next post will hopefully give some tips to help translate.


Writing Process Pt.1 – Beginnings

This first post will likely be short and not very sweet. I know no one that reads and if that is to not be taken literally than I would say that I know even fewer that write. Of those few that write, some pursue the idea of being a writer with little else to guide them. The symptoms for such a pursuit are not limited to the following: a general lack of knowledge and grammar, a lack of imagination, a lack of means to take a good imagination and transform the ideas therein into something resembling a story that has not been written by someone in late stage dementia.

Writers block is a perfect example of this. Writers block is a perfectly legitimate occurrence but it can also be a prime example of someone who simply isn’t meant to be a writer. Most writers don’t have the time to write all the projects they would like to get to. I myself have an almost endless supply of notebooks filled with great book and short story ideas that I will NEVER get to if I want to focus on writing the things that are most important to me. Some writers hit a mental roadblock of sorts, unsure what their character should do next, how to keep them in character or how to transition to the next scene or introduce a new character orororororororor and so on, ad infinitum. These things require careful consideration of the human condition.

Now here’s where things could get sticky but won’t. There are those people who shouldn’t be writers and yet try anyways. Are these people to be ridiculed or shamed? Or are they to be lauded as people who are trying to do something that doesn’t come easily to them. Should they be recognized as people who want to share their own condition? Should they be applauded for their courage to try in the face of something that doesn’t come easy to them?

The answer is simple and self-evident. If it isn’t you don’t belong, you aren’t part of the human condition, you are simply observing. Observers can only judge, they cannot create. And what’s the point if not to create? Who will remember your name if you don’t put it out there?

All power goes to the people who try.

To try is to have an idea.

There’s only the one way to get into Carnegie Hall.