What is it with blank pages?

Yesterday, the Daily Post shared the first task in their Zero to Hero 30 day challenge, which I am munching my way through, and illustrated it with a photo of an open, empty workbook. I immediately grabbed this photo to my PearlTrees (an example of shameless promoting, there) for future reference. Because I really, really like blank pages.

The Zero to Hero task today was to create or edit our titles and taglines, and create that little widget off to the right. I was happy to play with the tagline, but the title had to stay. Why? Why do I love blank pages so much?I have a fascination with pages that have been written on. The paper weight has to be just right and the pen a ballpoint for it to feel properly right. I have diaries from years back that was worn soft by the pen, each page is almost engraved by the pressure I exert when writing.  A blank page, though, is something exciting. It’s got potential, it’s a new doorway. I could write something utterly rubbish that I just want to scribble out immediately, or I could write the first scraps of idea that will become a whole new world. Until I write it, I have no idea.

Writing really is my life, and I dropped it for too long. Academia happened, then unemployment – which isn’t as good for writing as it should be – and with it depression, and then a brilliant job that I loved but which left no time for anything else. Well, a pretty terrible job, to be honest, but I did love it. Now I’ve got my life back, though, I’m remembering how much I love writing. I’ve dug out the stack of empty notebooks I had to put away and I’ve started filling them. Page after page goes from shining and full of hope to full of scrawl… and sometimes still shining. Rarely, but sometimes.

I love that moment when you get to the end of the page and realise that you filled it. But not as much as I love the moment right before you start, when the page can still be absolutely anything.

12 thoughts on “What is it with blank pages?

  1. I tend to do most of my writing on the computer (I’m a faster typist than writer), but I must admit it doesn’t have the same feel as filling up a blank page. I have several notebooks lying around and having pages covered with my scrawl is wonderful.

    • It feels like a bigger achievement to fill a notebook than a memory stick, and it’s far easier to do now that memory sticks have got so big.
      I find it helps get the juices going if I write first by hand and then type up anything I want to keep, because then it’s just practice and there’s less pressure and no red squiggly underlining.

  2. Keep the Aspidistra Flying was the the book that best encapsulated part time jobbing and the lessening of inspiration…it is a fine achievement to conquer each page and look back at the hills and valleys of the the letters.

  3. I know exactly what you mean about the excitement a blank page instills. I write most of my first drafts longhand in notebooks because they’re so enticing. I’ve lost count of the number of empty ones that I have on my shelf.

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