As I’m sure many writers know, sitting down to craft their thoughts and opinions into articulate and resonating sentences is often accompanied by at least a mild emotional experience. Sure, there can be the thrill of waiting to find out how you manage to express the fantastic ideas that’ve been rattling around your head for at least the last few hours (seconds?), but this is not without risk. If you do your job well, it’s a rewarding and a gratifying experience. If you fail to articulate those burning spots in your mind, it can be deeply frustrating, even depressing.
I sometimes see the blank page as a kind of magnet, pulling the sentences from my mind as I tell the story to myself. Once it’s out there I can often re-work it to strike a deeper chord. However, sometimes this magnet is not charged, and I am left wondering if I can change it in some way, perhaps it’ll jostle and loosen those words that are clustered together and just refusing to come out. During these moments, the very white of the page starts to irritate me, and I wonder if I change the color of the page or the font or the font style, if that’ll free-up the flow of words that I know are dying to come out. Perhaps I should switch to pen and paper, so I can stimulate my mind with the rapturous and tantalizing smell of ink – maybe even deliberately stain my fingers a little (in for a penny, in for a pound, right?).
I know a lot of this has to do with one’s own technique, personality, mood, and budgeting enough time to write, although I sometimes wonder if the compulsion to write, as in it’s time to satisfy one’s craving, sometimes gets ahead of the thought process. “Come on brain, it’s time to write! What’ve you got for me?”
We clearly get off on making sense of our thoughts. And where would our culture be without this self gratification?
Perhaps the blank page is what started it all.