Every morning I stare at a blank page. When I sit down to write I am faced with nothing but a white screen I seek to fill with words. Creation vs emptiness is one of the most daunting things I encounter on a daily basis. But, also, how freeing. On that blank page you can be anyone. Only your words limit what you create. Nothing more. You have complete control over what you create.
What possibility. What potential. What will you do with your blank page?
At times I do not want the blank page. I am tired and just want the words to already be there for me. I do not want to put in the work. That’s human. We all get exhausted now and again. What separates you is your response. Do you accept someone else’s story, or go back to the blank page and keep creating?
Other times we want a story that does not exist, or cannot exist. We push to create something that fits the paradigm of what we think we want, not what is best for us in the long run. These stories are often hard to accept because we invest so much of ourselves into them. What stories have you created that are no longer relevant in your life? Where do you need to go back to the blank page and start over?
Starting with nothing is scary, but not as scary as you think. You have much further to climb up than you do to fall down. If you fall from step 1 the ground is not very far away. But, still, some of us fear putting the wrong story on paper. We think this is the only blank page we’ll ever get, that life will compound from this and never restart blank again. In reality, we can hit delete, or create new, any time that we want. The opportunity to start fresh with a new blank page always exists.
Some feel they never got a blank page. The past which was unwittingly thrust upon them determined their story. The thing about this story is that it never gets you where you need to go. This story was written by someone else who doesn’t know what makes you, you. There is no way this story can be correct. How can you escape the words written without your consent? You ignore them.
Dealing with Story Thieves
When your story gets hijacked you know it. Life moves without your consent. You want to say, “hey stop! I didn’t say head this way! Aren’t I the one driving?”
This happens to me more than I would like to admit. We get swept up in things. Taken for a ride. Other times we think the direction we are heading is the direction we want to go. Convincing ourselves this is the story we need to create we follow the words somewhere that we ultimately do not like.
That is alright. Part of life is filling a blank page with words, and then realizing the words suck, that your descriptions do not get your point across, that the narrative dulls and heads off in a really weird direction, and having to find a way to cut until you are back to where things make sense.
Then you start again. From that point. Not from the first page, but from a fresh blank page somewhere in the middle of your narrative. Now is never the wrong time to reread your story and decide if you want to discard any of what you have written. Oddly enough, any time I take the time to reflect on my story I end up cutting out parts that I find do not work for me.
But, if I keep writing, filling blank page after blank page I often find myself somewhere I did not want to be. The story took on a life of its own and I was left wondering where this monster came from. Eliminating this monster before it started could have been accomplished by just rereading and editing my story.
Something From Nothing
The blank page is proof that you can start with nothing and become anything you want, only limited by your hard work and creativity. You can become anyone. You can create anything. The thing about blank pages is that once you start creating a story on them you need to create every page in that story.
If you stop for even one day someone will hijack your story and fill the page with his/her own words. Your story loses focus and becomes distorted. This is why, once you start writing your own story, you cannot stop. Every day you must look at that blank page and put something worthwhile in the empty space. There are no off days. You cannot just lay back and think you can pick up tomorrow in the exact same spot.
Blank pages are always filling themselves, either with your words, or with the words of someone else. Filling blank pages with your words requires you remain consistently conscious, evaluating your current reality, accepting and declining things that add to or slow the story, and struggling daily to find the right things to focus on.
Although I face many days where I want to ignore the blank page because I don’t know where to take the story of my life, I always write. Even on my worst days, I write. The narrative grows. Details flesh out, and I edit as needed. The blank page becomes exciting, not scary. I control the blank page. I control the narrative.
Creation requires trust. You must believe in your words no matter what, because if you give up that trust in what you are writing then someone else will fill your doubt with a story that does not fit your narrative. Your life will not be your own life. Your daily blank pages will disappear, succumbing to the negativity, complaints, or frustration or someone resembling you but not you. Trust the blank page is the way life should be. There is no road map or blue print. No secret rules for success or blueprint to getting rich exists. The path to getting what you want is simple: stare at that blank page until you find the right words to fill it with. Do this today. Do this tomorrow. Do this everyday.