Monday, March 8, 2010

Conquering The Blank Page

There is nothing worse for a writer than staring at a blank page. Especially when you are trying to tell a story and you know the middle bits and the end bits but can’t seem to explain yourself as to how you got there. I mean, it’s not like you’re trying to solve world peace or anything, but it is a problem. So you stare at the blank page or, (in the case of today’s modern technology) the blank screen. And you doubt yourself. Second guess what it is you are supposed to be saying. Think to yourself, will anybody really read this anyway? And will they like what they read? Will they agree with me?

And that is the first clue for a writer that you should get the heck out of your own head. And remember why you write things down in the first place. You see, I started writing things down as a way to make my life make sense to me. And I started posting these things on a blog as a way to explain myself to those around me who were trying to figure out who the heck I really was. It was an exercise in uncomplicating myself. (I am a very complex creature, and sometimes I confuse even myself.) So I write in an effort to make sense of everything around me. And then I started writing things down in order to pass along the things I was learning along the way to anyone who cared to read it. And people did start reading. That’s ultimately what threw me for a loop. And created the dreaded blank page. The thought that people were actually reading what I was writing. Oh the horror! My secrets weren’t secret anymore.

That is the crux of the problem. I wrestled with giving away the secrets of my heart. I sat for a long time and counted the cost of everyone knowing the thoughts of my head and the depths of my heart. You see, I can’t be what I term a “surface person.” I can’t edit out the tough things, the personal things, and the things that might be embarrassing or uncomfortable. I’m just not wired that way I guess. I’m the type of person to tell it to you like it is, even if it means admitting that I am the bad guy, or wrong, or slightly crazy, or selfish, or any of the things that most people don't want to admit freely. It would be insincere and not true to my nature to not be 100% truthful in my writing, because I am 100% truthful when you speak to me. It would be as if there were two Adrianna’s, constantly at odds with one another.

So if what is holding me back is the fear of what the reader may find out, or know, or disagree with, then I have two choices: To not write at all, or to conquer the fear. I choose the latter. I will hold my head high in the face of critics. I will not be ashamed or embarrassed for saying what I think and feel. In short, dear readers, agree or disagree, it shall not matter to me. For I write for my own artistic freedom. I write for the truth that I am constantly seeking. To combat the blank page, I will no longer edit myself. I will no longer fear readers not appreciating what I write. And it is for myself alone that I write these things down, and it is for truth that I will stand firmly by them.

The world once again makes sense. For now. Whew. Glad I got that off my chest. Now, to solve that world peace dilemma….

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