Who’s afraid of the blank page?

January 4, 2014

Hey everybody. Hope you had great holidays and that the new year is starting off bright! I’m doing okay up here, though I’m already tired of the wintry weather in Ontario.

Just wanted to say something about an email that I got weeks ago from Writers of the Future, with a link to an article about fear of the blank page. And I realized that, though I have a lot of fears and insecurities about writing, that isn’t one of them anymore. I can get worried that I have nothing new to say, or that I won’t be able to do justice to a particular story idea. But I don’t really associate either of them with a fresh digital document. (If we’re talking about a physical blank page, then I just get angry at the notion of having to write in longhand, but that’s a different topic that I’ve already covered.)

But the blank ‘page’ on my computer screen is always something I associate with the pure joy of creativity and I usually can hardly wait to rush in, start typing and fill it up–and then hesitate after a few paragraphs when I realize I have no idea where I’m actually going, now that I’ve started writing. I’m not sure how far back in my writing history that goes. Possibly, like a lot of my writing habits, it started to gel when I was cranking out Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfic in university.

So, what about you? Do you have the blank page fear? If you’re a writer, how do you tackle it?


The blank-page rewrite

July 2, 2011

So, I’ve been working hard today on a quick rewrite of a 5900-word science fiction story. And, just because it’s supposed to be done by tomorrow – I’m starting fresh from a blank page.

In a weird way, devoting myself to writing and science fiction for nearly every waking hour all week has convinced me that such crazy feats are possible. And, also, they’ve convinced me that this story really needs a blank-page rewrite anyway, so I might as well start that way instead of going with the superficial patches that I’ll have to pave over anyway.

I’ve learned an incredible amount about writing so far in the workshop, and the effect on my self-esteem has been indeterminate – like a quantum particle, the act of measuring how I feel about my writing seems to change it these days.

I’ve more or less caught up on my critiques – still need to do some prep-work for Monday, though that can be after tomorrow at 5pm, (the deadline for the rewrite.) I got the new chapters written for the two Roswell crossovers that I wanted to finish in June – Children of the Molecule, which is Roswell/Doctor Who, and Dragon’s Prey, the Roswell/Pern one. The third fandom story that I wanted to update in June – just wasn’t going to happen, I didn’t leave myself enough time for it, though at least I started it before I left Ontario.

And I’ve actually managed to watch some fun science fiction television – I caught two ‘Torchwood’ episodes yesterday, and watched a ‘Sarah Jane Adventure’ and an episode of ‘Battlestar Galactica’ in the dorm laundry room this morning, staring into my iphone while waiting out the wash and dry cycles.


%d bloggers like this: