Blessings of the Blank Page

The blank page—it’s a writer’s greatest curse and blessing.

So let’s get the bad news out first. Make no mistake; a blank page is terrifying. “What if I have no ideas?” “This blog isn’t going to write itself.”

But we still do it, write, that is. Someone said writers can’t “not write.” Why? Maybe, it’s the blessings of a blank page. Here are a few of them.

Hopefulness—despite what may have happened (or not happened) yesterday, a BP gives one a new start. How many things can do that?

Instruction—The ancient Greeks called it “heuristic.” Writing teaches us something. Elie Wiesel said, “I write to understand as well as to be understood,” and Edward Albee wrote, “I write to find out what I’m thinking about.” If you journal, you’ve experienced this.

Freedom—On my BP, I can move in any direction I please, with content and style. I love that. I’ve never done well at coloring inside the lines.

Adventure—The BP can take me places I’ve never dreamed of going, and not just in my mind. A piece I wrote about a train whistle ended with an Amtrak trip though the American West.

Therapy—Wise King Solomon said that “life and death are in the power of the tongue.” Words can heal, whether spoken or written.

Bridge-building—My grad school teachers said it was the secret of good communication. Help a reader see what you see, feel what you feel, and you’ve succeeded. I think it’s the greatest blessing of a BP.

That said, the BP I face next week will be just as terrifying.

Enjoy your weekend.

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