I'm terrified of you, empty page. Looking at you makes me weep, and I do everything in my power to avoid you. I delay the act of writing a new story to keep me from seeing that large expanse of white, that void, that nothingness that seems to be waiting for something. Something you're expecting me to provide; something you need to be good. If what I write isn't wonderful, I'm wasting space on the page. It's wasting my time, as well.
Surely, the idea of writing anything is easy? You'd think so. But I had to force myself to open this document and even though my fingers resisted I forced them to type, through fear. Once words are on the page, it'll become less scary, I thought. And it's working, but that's scary too - that flow that comes from arrogance that what you're writing is going to be good, when it turns out to be crap when re-read. I tell myself that it's okay to write bullshit, and it is as long as the page isn't blank. All that matters is that the page isn't blank. But the more words that appear on the page, the more important it is that those words be good. Because the more I write, the more like a writer I appear, and people are only writers if they're good at it.
Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, even crappy people like me who can't string a sentence together without a spelling error or backtracking are writers if they overcome that dread of the big blank page. That's my logical brain talking. You know, the one that tells you that it's going to be okay, you just need to push your way through the fear, the one that cries "Feel the fear and do it anyway!" and the one everyone should listen to when doing something drastic. People write self help books on their logical brains. The brave people listen. The brave people hear their heads saying "Go for it!" and actually go for it. What a novel idea! The terrified people (like me) hide and say "actually, surfing the Internet for hours at a time is a much more valid use of my time."
But I can change that. I don't check Facebook every two minutes and I don't use Twitter as often. Instead of wasting my words on 140 character waffles about my day I can waffle on paper instead, and maybe make something of it. Maybe write a story, a play or a poem, anything but a big blank page. So that's what I'll do, I'll ignore the chirping of twitter or the new photos George has posted on Facebook to conjurer the fear of the emptiness. That's what writers do.
Distractions are everywhere. My stomach says "I'm hungry!" and my head starts to hurt. My fear will do anything to keep me from writing rubbish. My fear says "leave it blank! It's a white cat in the snow, see?" and jokes, that are meant to make me feel better at being such an awful writer, but they're actually preventing me from feeling better. Feeling better is finishing a piece. Feeling better is reaching your target. Feeling better isn't hiding behind a failure and saying "this is all I can do".
I'm a writer. I write. I'm not a hider who hides. I'm a musician, I'm an artist too, but most of all I'm a writer. Words form in my mind, not images. I know how to compose a piece, but I don't hear it dance around inside my mind. I see the words though. They flow through me. And I will sit and I will write, even if it means dragging my muse through the mud, caked up to our elbows in effort, hating every minute of it. Even if it means never getting any appreciation for anything, even if it means sitting up at 3.30am on a Thursday morning because if you don't get this damn page filled up it means you're not a writer.
I hate you, blank page. And that's why I will fill you up with crap. And if, by chance, I write something that people consider "good" then hurray. Until then, however, my relationship with you is over. Let you never be a blank page again.
Listening to: The Corrs