Friday, 7 January 2011

The Blank Page Phenomenon


Oh no! Writers, beware, it's a BLANK PAGE!!! 

*runs away screaming like Kevin Home Alone*


OK calm again. 

I'm one of those people who have a seriously schizophrenic love-hate relationship with blank pages (or new notebooks, or pages/word files). There's nothing quite like that smooth crispness of the new, virgin field to sow your inky seeds upon, to spread and populate and live lives of their own. 

And yet.... only too easy for those little bits of ink to get away from you. Blots appear, words get smeared and then - OMFG - the ink runs out. Everything goes blank. 

Where's that Muse when you need him? 

Oh, that's right. He's on holiday. 

So I'm here stuck with a blank page, a head full of ideas and a mish-mash of characters screaming at me or just sulking in the corners of my mind, with no clue where to start.  Sometimes I wish I could paint, or even draw a reasonably life-like stick figure, so I could get on paper exactly what my ideas look like. My father can do that. My sister, too. (paint, that is, not draw life-like stick figures though I'm sure they can do that, too)

Instead, I get to paint with words. 

Only sometimes the paint dries out, or the paper isn't quite what I'm looking for that day. Maybe I'd do better with yellow paper, or white, or lined, squared, plain, whatever colour/texture/type I happen to NOT have at hand. 

You know what that's called? Let me spell it for you. 


otherwise known as


I'm really good at that.

If I were a psychologist, I'd probably tell myself I have a deeply rooted fear of failure. So in order not to fail at something (or rather not do as well as I'd like), I don't do it. I sabotage myself by giving in to the BPP (Blank Page Phenomenon, do keep up).


This year, my resolution is to STOP WASTING TIME and FINISH WHAT I START. 

There, I've said it. You're all my witnesses. 

What about you? Do you suffer from BPP? What stops you from being the writer you know you are? Any coping mechanisms you've developed? 

Go on, do share! 
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