There’s nothing quite as daunting as a blank page. It stares at you, quite literally with that taunting look on its face. It has a way of emptying out every good idea that you’ve ever had, making it land up in a rambled mess of words that more often than not don’t make sense. Blank pages, are quite literally evil. At least, that’s the conclusion I’ve come to. So, this year I’m making it my mission that whenever I see a blank page I am going to conquer it. Fill it with words and see how it likes that. Not a lot I’ll wager!
But, in all seriousness, blank pages are daunting and problematic and there are times when it’s far easier to hit the ‘x’ and pretend that you weren’t going to do anything anyway. Or, worse still, delete the words that are on the page because they’re no good. Listening to the little voice in your head that’s going “ha ha you think that’s good?! Really?! Really?! Have you seen what you’ve written?!” and you can almost imagine it laughing at you. Well, this year is the year that we’re saying ‘goodbye’ to that voice and also goodbye to the phobia of the blank page.
And yes, it’s easier said than done – especially after 10 years of getting to this point, you’d think we’d be a little better at it. But it’s not really that easy, not when you have new ideas forming and you’re wondering if they’re actually that good. But it’s a goal, an aim and something that will hopefully spring us forward into this New Year, with writing a plenty – and hey, we might even throw up a little bit on our site to show you what we’re actually doing! So, you know, it’s not just us blogging or what have you about what we’re doing!
I’ve spent a lot of the last day or so looking back at some of our old stuff. It’s something that I do every now and then, as a reminder of just how far we’ve come. And sure, there’s some good stuff in there that I think ‘it’s a pity that we can’t use it anymore’ but for the most part it’s a reminder. A reminder of just how far we’ve come. Some of the things that I read through and it’s like … did I really use language like that?! Or where the hell is the description or the imagination or anything of the sort. So it’s definitely a good exercise, to show us how we’ve moved on from where we were.
But it also shows, that no matter how good or bad a piece of work is, it can be re-used and re-worked and re-written. That the blank page can and will be conquered and slain with the river of words that will flow over it. And that’s what the editing process is for, looking at our stuff no matter how good it is, no matter how bad it is and making it better. Taking out the unnecessary, adding in something that makes it better. Seeing what needs to be added in to make it flow more and so on and so forth.
And that’s not something that I always stop and contemplate when I’m writing. I’ll admit (and I’m probably not alone here) that when I write I want it to be perfect. As though somehow that if I do a good enough job on it, I won’t have to come back and re-do it, even if I know that I will. But that’s why going back and looking over our old stuff is good, why it’s good for me to take those old pieces of writing and shove it into a blank document and say “Ha! See this! It might not be the best but I am going to make it better!” At least … that’s the theory anyway. But it’s a good way for me to learn that no matter what I think at the time, if I think it’s good or more commonly that it’s the biggest load of rubbish that I’ve ever put to paper, that we can do something with it. And that’s a blessing in so many ways, sometimes it’s a good way of seeing how to advance our story on by going back and looking at what we’ve done in the past.
Plus, if all else fails, at least there’s something to throw at the page itself! But, more than that, what I have learned from it all is that when you’re writing it’s sometimes best to go back to a piece of work. To take that moment to reflect on it, move it back to that blank page and to see just what you can do with it. With a bit of sleep, a bit of distance, and suddenly where things seemed impossible they flowed better. Sometimes, just sometimes, that’s the best thing you can do with a piece of writing.
Put it on a blank page. Ignore the voice in your head. And just let the words or the editing process flow!