The blank page.
It can be something to fear, or something to embrace.
For me, it can be absolutely paralyzing. I think that is why I am forcing myself to do a daily blog post. To daily face the blank page. Not every blog post has to be perfect, although I would prefer all the words to be spelled correctly. But by doing a daily post, I am trying to follow the old saw, Done is better than Perfect. I have had blogs before and would post whenever I thought something was absolutely ready. And not much happened. So, daily I will face the blank page, do battle, and leave with, well a none blank page.
On the other hand, the blank page is possibilities. What can this story be? Who is the character going to evolve into as the page fills with characters, words, paragraphs? What will the protagonist do next? Will it get her closer to her goals or be a stumbling block? And where did this side character come from and why does he keep popping up? (Looking at you, Turk, whoever you are.)
I don’t have data, but after the horrific year that 2020 was, I kind of wonder if calendar and planner sales rose, as after lockdowns and “safe at home”orders, people sought fresh clean years, to plan trips and events and the occasional family visit? I jumped into my yearly planning gleefully this year, mostly because of my huge goals. But there is an entire Instagram community of people who talk about planning and planners. They post lovely photos of their planners and calendars, and if it were me, it would take more time to create the planner page than to do the actual work. But maybe for them, the planner is the work. I can’t judge, and since that is my default place to scroll when I am bored, I am glad those aspirational planners are out there. And let’s not even start with bullet journals, the ultimate blank page. A whole notebook of them, blank pages waiting to be planning pages, memory pages, collections, trackers, and lists of every ilk. I have been bullet journalling since 2015, and only moved to a printed planner when I found one that basically did what I was drawing in the bullet journal every day. Because at the end of the day, I am lazy.
I am trying to no longer fear the blank page. One of my quarterly goals was to start drafting a new novel, but I am finding I don’t know enough about the characters yet, so may just revise a previous work while I am writing short stories to learn about the new folks. And revising the old work is like going home to old friends. No blank pages there, and that is much more comfortable. But the blank page, and turning it into something, anything, that is the direction I want to go.
So this page is no longer blank and I can check it off the list. Did my filling it with characters change anything or anyone in the world. Probably not. Not sure it even changed me, but, I can check off Daily Blog Post on my blank daily page. Good enough.