Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bad or Blank

In Editing and Performing from Sioux's Page, Sioux asks,

“Do you have lots of bad pages now or lots of blank pages?”

One of the hardest things I find about writing is actually getting started.  Sometimes I find the blank page very overwhelming. I know when I was first married and my husband was taking college classes, he had a hard time writing for his class also. I remember telling him to just get started. Write something down. Anything.

I used to tell my students that writing something with lots of errors is worth more points than not writing anything at all. If I see something written, I can tell there was some kind of effort put into the writing. If nothing is on the paper, I can’t give credit for thoughts.

Sometimes when I don’t know what to write, I look for inspiration from other blogs. Just like I quoted Sioux’s blog at the top of this page. Sometimes by just putting the quote down, I can feel thoughts going through my head. I try to jot down the thoughts and not worry about the order because I’m afraid I will forget some of my thoughts.

After I have my thoughts down, I can go back and sort through the details. Sometimes I can take things out or add more detail. Sometimes I can rearrange so the flow is smoother. But if there is a blank page, I have nothing to work with.

Sometimes I copy quotes and paste them on blank pages. Then I save them in a file so when I need a writing prompt, it will be there. Sometimes I look at them and wonder what in the world was I thinking about when I copied it and other times I still know why it was important to me.  I’m all the time looking for words of wisdom or inspiration for future writing. 

Sometimes I feel like my life is a lot the same. I want to try new things and feel so overwhelmed that I’m afraid to try. I have a “blank page” with the new skill. Then I try to remind myself that trying and making mistakes is much better than doing nothing at all. In fact, I’m not even sure that I will have a “bad” page if I don’t even try. I might be successful and not have a “bad” page at all.

But it is really hard to get past the blank page. It doesn’t matter how old I am or what I’ve done in the past, blank pages are hard to work on! I like to think that I have more “bad” pages than “blank” pages because I don’t want to go through life with regrets. I don’t want to regret that I really wanted to do something and didn’t try it because I was afraid of failure.

Do you have “bad” or “blank” pages? Please share.

Image: 'Blank Pages In An Open Notebook'
Found on

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