From Blank Page to blank page in 30 seconds

Blank Stare or blank stare?

What a difference a few days can make in the life of a writer! What a difference it makes to the meaning of a blank page… I sort of feel like I’ve fallen off a cliff, but in a good way.

I know that doesn’t make sense, but stick with me here. I’ll try to explain.

As you know, I made my official switch from work-a-day guy to sparkly-glowy-consultative-entity-at-large last Friday. It was also the day I proclaimed that I was dedicating myself to writing.

Since then, I’ve written not one word of creative fiction. Not one. I’m ok with that for the moment, because I’ve been writing proposals. My proposals are not like other people’s proposals. They are opportunities to educate. They are mini-articles which are in fact raw copy for a book I am assembling on eCommerce.

I’ve also managed to write a few blog posts, like the one called “Why King Moonracer is My Hero”. I’m still working out this which blog gets which post thing. That should settle out soon, so don’t fret about it.

Still, one thing I’ve noticed is that Blank Pages are now just blank pages.

The Blank Page

When you’re starting out, writing becomes serious. So serious, you may end up writing millions of words (like me) or being paralyzed by the white expanse of the Blank Page (like me too).

I’m sure this happens to pros too, but the impact of the Blank Page on an amateur is quite different.

You may be frustrated. You may be angry. You may howl at the moon or curse the Elder Gods (you do the latter at your own peril, don’t say you haven’t been warned)… but no one starves.

Becomes a blank page

Just because I put a flag in the ground and said — “I AM A WRITER FOR REAL” — doesn’t make me one. I’m not on the verge of starving either. However, I suddenly feel quite free but also driven with a sense of purpose.

I don’t feel frenzied or pressed. I don’t have a deep hunger tearing at my soul. I’m not feeling hesitant or unsure. I’m not worrying about plot or fighting the urge to flip everything around and start over. I feel complete.

The Blank Pages are gone, and I’m writing.

Jumping from Page to page

At the moment, this is probably the best I can do in explaining what’s different besides saying “it’s different.”

Parenthood is like this. You see people who are expecting for the the first time and they look so innocent, so happy. They should be of course but really they have no idea what they’re in for. If you try to tell them, you look like a lunatic.

So maybe I seem a little crazy right now to you.

Of course, if you’re an experienced hand, you’re probably nodding and maybe laughing at the child exploring his new world and suddenly realizing just how scary big it is.

Either way, I’m glad to provide the entertainment. 🙂

I’m going to keep notes on this feeling and see how it changes over time. I’ll report back occasionally on this topic and let you know if it fades or if it only multiplies.

For the moment though, let’s just say that there’s a big difference between a Blank Page and a blank page — and I like it!

YOUR TURN: Have you experienced the difference between Blank Pages and blank pages? If so, how has it shaped your writing experience?

6 thoughts on “From Blank Page to blank page in 30 seconds

  1. Jamie, the blank page is much like silence it can torment you with its eerie nothingness or delight you with its possibility. I love the feeling you describe today and found myself nodding, laughing and smiling. Cheers to blank (rather than Blank) pages!

    Karen Swim´s last blog post..Sidewalk Surprises

  2. @Karen 🙂 So much fun, isn’t it?

    @uppington I’ll do my best to stay on the playground for as long as I can! {oooh! look at the swings!}

  3. Ooh, Karen what great imagery!

    I’ve never experienced the Blank Page – my challenge is the All or Nothing – books, stories, client work, all want to come out in a single chunk “bumffff!” but of course that’s not how the writing process goes – the words can only come out one at a time. It creates a traffic jam and then nothing comes out…

    Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome´s last blog post..Get rid of your somedays: personalized help now available

  4. This is a really great topic to hear about, as I’ve been thinking of changing jobs for a very long time now. I’m not about to try and become a full time writer or artist (…am I?????), but it’s a large leap at the same time. I’m trying to divine an area of interest in which to head with a new career, but every time I start writing about it I get, “I’d like to do sculpture. All day. All the time.” Or maybe, “I just want to write. I want to get up and write every day. I need REAL time to write!” Then, for fun, I write what that would mean, and the immediate affect of that would be that I would lose my house. I don’t get much farther than that, but if I start thinking up various scenarios that could possibly enable me to do creative stuff more OFTEN and devote less time to a 9-5 job, well, then it starts to get scary. Possibility is scary, and the blank page does look different from when you’re trying to pay a mortgage versus “finding your muse” in a coffee shop during a few free hours on a Saturday. Hat’s off to you, Jamie. You have my support in your endeavors.

    Tom´s last blog post..More with the colors

  5. @Alex I run into that problem too. I get going on one thing and want to work on another. Round and round it goes. I think we can’t let ourselves get to beat up by that experience. We have to let it come and then go. Holding onto traffic jam gives it power.

    @Tom Thanks! It’s indeed a scary thing. Anyone who thinks otherwise is totally nuts or lying. 🙂

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