blank pageIs there anything quite so full of promise… or as potentially unnerving… as a blank page?

There’s something about a pristine piece of paper, or that blinking cursor in the top corner of your screen, that’s both wonderful and terrifying in equal measure. A blank page is gravid with opportunity for a writer: fertile ground where you can sow the germ of your idea, nurture it and watch it grow into something amazing. But for all its promise, that blank page is perhaps the scariest thing any aspiring writer has to face.

Even with decades of experience earning a living as a professional writer, the blank page can still be daunting. Whether it’s a business document, the start of a new novel, a short story, a blog post or an email newsletter, the feeling is the same. Nothing fuels the nagging self doubt that is the writer’s constant companion more than the perfect, all-encompassing emptiness of the blank page.

You can FEEL the burgeoning potential of the space just begging to be filled, but you also harbour a deep-seated fear that whatever you create couldn’t possibly realise that potential. Will your words connect and resonate with people? Will your writing achieve the goal you have in mind when you create it? Will your story take your readers on a journey and lead them to the place you want them to go?

There’s only one way to find out. The cure to “blank page syndrome” is remarkably straightforward: you just fill in the blank.

As soon as you start writing the blank page is gone, and while the fears and doubts inevitably linger, they wane with every word you write. So what if your writing isn’t perfect, or even good? You can (and almost certainly will) go back and change it later, before anyone else gets to read it. The most important thing is to start.

That initial step is the most significant one on the road to creating something remarkable. Always remember the beginning is a wonderfully exciting place to be. Embrace it!

Are you overcome by writing inertia when faced with a blank page? How do you overcome the fear and start writing? Join the discussion over on my Facebook page.

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