The Blank Page


It’s staring at me, as though I just knocked it’s drink out of its hand at a bar and have refused to buy it another one – asking me if I want a fight?

Er, no thank you. I’d quite like to make friends actually. Sadly, after four years of learning the hard way, I know that’s not how it’s going to go.

First, I will stare at the Blank Page for a while (sometimes days) petrified by its barrenness. Second, at some unknown cue, I will begin attacking the Blank Page with a flurry of impassioned prose, typing frenetically until the threat of RSI or the possibility of forgetting the school run looms large.

Third, the Blank Page will sit very still, projecting my words back at me with a raised eyebrow, waiting for me to notice that most of what I’ve written is utter trite. Fourth, I will open the wine and spend some time browsing the (proper) job column.

Fifth, after a quick glance at the washing up in the sink and the laundry in the ironing pile, I will remember why I’d rather be making up stories for a living. Then I will return to tackling the Blank Page. Only by then, it will no longer be blank. It will be a sloppy, incoherent, fabulous mess of words, waiting for me to nurture it into shape.

Sixth, after a grossly disproportionate amount of time is expended, in which any normal person could rewrite all of history, I will finally nail the scene. The Blank Page and I will settle our differences. It will buy me a drink; I will feel all warm and fuzzy and smug for a moment or two.

Then it will laugh in my face and ask me if I want a fight and we’ll be back to square one with the next scene. Conquering the Blank Page is like catching up with Tomorrow (or, less profoundly, keeping on top of the washing up and the ironing): impossible.

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