Fear of the Blank Page

I’m not afraid of the white space.  I’m not afraid of the blank space.  I’m not afraid of the blank page.  That’s what other writers do.  I’m not doing that.  That is not what I am doing.  That is not what’s going on here.  I’m not afraid.  I’m not worried or concerned or anything else.  There’s anxiety, but I’ll be damned if that’s the fault of the white page.  I defeat the blank page.  I dalmatian poka-dot the shit out of the white page.  Final Draft and Microsoft Word cower in a combination of awe and fear when I write.  I’m not worried.  Lesser writers w-worry, because they don’t know what to do.  They n-never learned what to do.  They treated workshops as a means of fixing a particular piece of writing instead of learning an aesthetic with which to write.  They play a short game.  They’re like Le Mons drivers who do the quick fix.  Fixes “just for this race” and keep doing it until their entire racer is a piece of shit.  My aesthetic is strong.  It isn’t perfect but every part and every repair has been evaluated and reevaluated.  The journey’s been hard and has had no shortage of haters.  But I’m on my way.  I’m not a-afraid.  I don’t see the road ahead of me.  It’s been so far so good.  I’m still on the road, but that doesn’t mean that at the very end I won’t crash.  This is the start of the end.  I’ve made it this far.  I don’t remember if I was competing with anyone, but I don’t see them in my rear view mirror.  It’s just me now.  The typing of my keys makes an engine noise, but a sputtering engine.  A blown engine.  I might not have what it takes to make it across the finish line.  I might be told that I’m not good enough.  That I need to be better.  That I’m not what they’re looking for.  I can live with myself if that happens, because I can become better.  Because I have heart and vision and knowledge.  For a writer that’s a hell of a lot.

But if I don’t try.  If I let this anxiety get me, and I give up.  Then I’ll know that I’ll never be a writer who can cross that finish line.  I might miss the deadline.  I might do poorly.  But if I don’t try, then that means I’m not the person I want to be.  Maybe I don’t have heart.  Maybe I don’t rip apart the blank page with typography.  Maybe I’m just stubborn and misguided in a foolish dream that has cost me any chance of living a happy life.

This happens to writers.  There’s a stubborn streak right until it’s time to make our talents count.  Then we cower, never taking the necessary leap.  We take the safe jobs and relative financial security.  I can’t see where I’m going, but I need to push the throttle harder, make those keys make the broken engine sound.  I know I have heart.  I know I have vision.  I know I have knowledge.  I know I can make letters into dots of magic.  I just need to do it now with so much on the line.

It’s easy, just a hop, skip, and a jump.

That's all...

That’s all…

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