The BLANK PAGE - Something to Fear?

Peter B. GiblettStarred Page By Peter B. Giblett, 16th Jan 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1fizk_3i/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Tips

One of the greatest problems that writers face is what to do when the words dry up, writers-block drives some authors insane, yet there are always solutions and making notes when ideas strike may help you break through that roadblock.

Writers Block

Imagine that you are sitting down to write your latest block buster novel and the blank page on the typewriter or computer screen is just standing there staring you in the face, you have the outline of the story in your mind, but how do you say what is necessary? That is indeed a challenge and the fact that there are a million words that you can call upon in order to express that feeling does not seem to help, that blank page keeps on staring at you, just as if saying:

"Come on, I dare you!" As if pages could talk.

What to do? One thing is certain, the future is a blank page, which means we can make anything of it that we wish to but those million words in our toolbox does not seem to help when fighting that blank page, the whiteness of the paper, whether electronic or real, sits there pristine daring you to spoil it, yet you are a writer and it is your duty to use and abuse the page, it is better that you make a start, no matter how rough, the attempt at least seems to to provide motion towards the ultimate goal of writing.

One of the advantages that electronic media has is that you can at least put a rambling mess down, then spend some time sorting it out at a later date, this is a method called free writing, the idea being that you put raw ideas down, some will be in note form others will be the details of the story to be told, the point being that you can edit what you write at a later time in order that it makes sense. In some respects it is better to put something down rather than stand still staring at the screen, make no progress whatsoever.

The Article Writer

If you are writing articles then it should be possible to obtain ideas from almost anywhere, to support this thought I have pulled a few ideas from the headlines in our local newspaper:

  • Trains need to go says Mayor
  • The Tweet on the street
  • Poking the bear - free booze in Canadian casinos
  • Time to ditch our blasphemy laws?
  • Downhill slide from personal responsibility
  • School Boards still relevant says school board chair

Any of these could be the inspiration behind your next article, your local paper should give you some ideas, simply read the article, feel the emotions that you feel about the situation and use those as the basis for what needs to be written.

For example Mayor Diodati saying the trains must go brings out many emotions in our community, we have cargo trains that are more than two miles in length running through the city every day, yet they should not stop in the city because they merely use the rail loop through the city before heading west out of the city limits, this loop merely lines up the trains for the downhill stretch of track that happens some miles later. Since living here broken down trains have cut the city in two at least once per year, certainly the inspiration for an article on the needs of the train company versus that of the city dwellers.

How easy was that? Of course there is still plenty of room for new inspiration.

The Novel Writer

The biggest challenge for writers block should be with the person who is creating a novel. They may have mapped out the path the story takes from its opening shot to the end of the story, but that does not mean the writer has every detail planned in their mind and that may leave some challenges about how their main character, who is penniless at the moment, in New York city will make it to Caracas before Friday, when the next phase of this adventure starts.

Such problem areas will not be addressed until the author comes to writing the details behind that part of the story. The could of course de-focus then simply reappear in Caracas on the appointed day, with hero in tow, or they can hit the challenge head-on which of course takes extra writing skill and story development and may be the reason why they spend a lot of time staring at the proverbial blank page. the answer must be to write something, then improve on it (one thing we can always do with the aid of a computer)

And still that Blank Page Stares

Are you not angry or mad about something?

There are times that I see something on the TV, or hear it on the radio (not necessarily on the news) and it stirs an idea, that is when I reach for my trusty Evernote application, which is my equivalent on the old-fashioned notebook and pencil and take a little note. The reason this application is so handy is that I can access it almost anywhere, since I have it installed on my smart-phone, PC, and can even access it from the Web, the fact that it is free makes it extremely attractive. There are many times when relaxing and watching TV, I will reach for the phone and add a new note - a headline and a few words is usually enough. The following day I may expand on the idea or may even delete it, the point being that you can gain inspiration from anywhere.

During the worst days of my blindness, when I felt the pressure of the world resting on my shoulders I still had inspirational moments and at that time I turned to my trusty digital Dictaphone machine that would allow me to record my thoughts - the idea was that at least they could be transcribed at a later time. Those notes today are being compiled as a part of a book about those times.

The point is the blank page does not need to stare at you and rule you, you need to command it, take control, make something happen. Don't think about the shiny finished piece, think about taking the first step and making that work, you must beat the blank page into submission.

Image Credits

  • Blank page by Huffington post
  • Top quality Article Writing by marketingwords.com
  • Book from Dreamstime (Royalty free) 2012
  • Sky News by somalworld.com

Linking back to Other Articles

It is important for the article writer to link to other articles they have produced, not only other material on related topics, but other recent publications, which can also be another source of inspiration.
Peter B. Giblett has recently penned the following pieces on Wikinut:

Any thoughts? Truth is most people do and Wikinut is great a place for you to share some of your wisdom, insight and knowledge about anything you wish. You could add a comment to any article, or perhaps you need to do something more, in which case you could join Wikinut, write then become connected to others who share a passion for writing.

Tags

Angry, Article Writer, Blank Page, Blank Screen, Inspirational Moments, Mad, New Inspiration, Novel Writer, Staring, Writers Block

Meet the author

author avatar Peter B. Giblett
Author of "Is your Business Ready? For the Social Media Revolution"

Social media consultant, with C-Level background.

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Comments

author avatar Carol Roach
19th Jan 2015 (#)

Luckily for me I have never had writers block

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
19th Jan 2015 (#)

Neither do I, but the reason for writing this is that I know other writers do and from that regard it is necessary to find techniques to unlock the blank page.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
19th Jan 2015 (#)

I have been so busy the past few months- I put writing on a "back buner"...now while trying to jump right back in-I found that dreaded cold blank screen ...so I went back "old school" to my first love of jotting in my notebook...now things are humming along.....

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
19th Jan 2015 (#)

Delicia, The thing about jotting in a notepad is that they may be raw ideas, but they are a start point that can later be built on.

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author avatar Retired
19th Jan 2015 (#)

I wanted to make a comment, but I can't think of anything to say!

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author avatar GenkiWorld
19th Jan 2015 (#)

that blank pge got the best of me once too many times before. As an article writer it is not so intimidating, as a book writer, it is incredibly so and quite tonting. but the worse is when we are faced with writer's block, tht blank page will be our undoing.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
19th Jan 2015 (#)

In my mind making some small steps forward is the important thing, such as making some notes about how you hero will make their next step may be the starting point.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
19th Jan 2015 (#)

I write about something that inspires me , and sometimes it will sit for days on rough paper without a second thought ... then at an appropriate moment I finish it and add it to my poetry site ..from there it goes into a journal ....and finally , here at Wikinut..
That seems to work for me .
Bless you Peter
Stella ><

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
19th Jan 2015 (#)

Because you have put in rough on paper you subconscious is working on it and will give you ideas at the appropriate time.

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author avatar Retired
19th Jan 2015 (#)

I absolutely never have writer's block. Life is too stimulating not to prompt the urge to write. If one is conscious or has any awareness at all, it's easy to develop one's thoughts further for sharing.

Although I am a creative person, I don't much bother with fiction -- reading or writing it -- as real life provides plenty to write about and can be more interesting or bizarre than the most imaginative fictions. Also, there is plenty to teach where education leaves off.

Let it be known that you have stimulated me to write by this very article, Peter. Your writing is worth reading, as always.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
19th Jan 2015 (#)

It is certainly true that real life gives us plenty to write about. I also appreciate being a muse.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
19th Jan 2015 (#)

Another great post, for me my struggle is to formulate my thoughts, sometimes I get a great idea but then never seem to get around to putting it into words because the thought is too big and I feel my time will be interrupted so I cannot do it justice.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
19th Jan 2015 (#)

Mark, even with the great ideas it is possible to conquer them in small steps. I put things down in notes so even if I am interrupted it will still get completed.

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author avatar Ptrikha
20th Jan 2015 (#)

This is a good strategy, which I used for one of my fiction series of stories here on Wikinut.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
20th Jan 2015 (#)

Peter, excellent article. I must say that my best ideas usually come early in the morning. I think I should write more news worthy articles but I actually want to write more fantasy. I've been having fun reading John's children's book. Anywhere there is fantasy that's where I like to be.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
20th Jan 2015 (#)

Of course Nancy, you do have to make best use of that time when ideas are at their best.

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author avatar Ptrikha
20th Jan 2015 (#)

For me, lack of time rather than lack of ideas inhibits what am able to share here. I started a fictional story series, but have not found time beyond First part, because fictional writing takes much more creativity and imagination than writing on other stuffs.(For other stuff, at times, some formulas do work well :) )

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
20th Jan 2015 (#)

Having time is a problem that is not just connected to writing, it impacts every endeavour in our life. When I wrote a series a couple of years ago I made sure that I had always penned ahead of me - that is four or five articles were complete before the first one was published.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
20th Jan 2015 (#)

For me, my mood and emotions make an impact on my writing. When one is inspired the sky is the limit and we should try to seize them. When we are disturbed we should bide the time till things settle down - siva

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
20th Jan 2015 (#)

Mood and emotion are certainly important factors in what you action. At any time I have three of four works in progress on Evernote on any given day I will write according to my mood.

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author avatar tootsieharveystories
25th Jan 2015 (#)

Some great ways to beat writers' block. . .thanks Peter. . .

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