Just as an artist wouldn’t be able to rework a blank canvas, a writer cannot edit a blank page. Making mistakes is part of the process; don’t smother your creativity out of fear and doubt.
Everyone has ebbs and flows in their creativity. Just as bamboo is strong but bends and sways in the breeze, be flexible in your approach to writing, maintaining an awareness of where you are going and the flexibility of thought to follow wherever your creative process takes you, unencumbered by resistance or doubt.
“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can,” author Neil Gaiman told The Guardian.
If you struggle to overcome a fear of the blank page, take a deep breath and try one of these techniques.
1. Take action
For many, the blank page can be intimidating and overwhelming. Though just as when you worried about a monster in your closet as a child, to make the monster disappear, all you need to do is open the door.
Similarly, “open the door” to your creativity by starting to write. The trick — as with honing every skill — is to practice.
“Don’t just plan to write — write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style,” author PD James said, when asked for her favourite writing tips by Guardian Books.
You wouldn’t trust a heart surgeon who has read books on how to operate, but never actually picked up a scalpel. Reading about writing craft is wonderful, but you also need to write.
Read more of my new post at The Write Life here: How to Beat Writer’s Block: 5 Ways to Face the Blank Page
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- Anne Enright’s Finest 10 Tips for Writing Fiction - 23 September 2017