Monday, November 29, 2010

I hope you had a DELICIOUS  Thanksgiving. :) I know I did.

 “A blank sheet of paper.” That was Ernest Hemingway's answer when someone asked him what was the most frightening thing he had ever encountered.

Agree?

I do. The time before I write the novel is the scariest time of all. Now I know some writers believe that ideas are the easiest part. For them I guess it's the implementation of those ideas that scares them the most.

How do you face the empty page? 

This is how I do it. I read and write and then I read and write some more.

John Grisham tells writers to experience some things, see some of the world, go through things–love, heartbreak, and so on, because you need to have something to say. Agree?

He says he always tells young aspiring writers to write a page a day. It quickly becomes a habit. I know there is some truth to that.

Ernest Hemingway also said "each day’s work should only be interrupted when one knows where to begin again the next day"

 I know that is true. That's how I write. I don't stop until I'm sure I know where to start when I pick back up the next day. I've even written myself a note in the MS in case I forget.


The only way I've found to defeat the empty page is to read and write and read and write some more. 

How do you defeat the empty page? :)

23 comments:

  1. I sometimes find listening to music that pulls on my heartstrings inspires me to get words down in that blank page.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yup. that blank page is just about the scariest thing I've ever faced. The only thing equally scary is the scale on a Monday morning. Gulp.

    I haven't quite figured out how to beat the scale yet, but the blank page is best defeated by just writing something every day without re-reading it. I can't read other people's work when I'm writing, so the best thing for me is to have a short meditation and then take up that pencil again.

    (Sending Christopher ENORMOUS hugs and many prayers for Wednesday 1/12)

    Judy(South Africa)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with Jessica, listening to music always does it for me:)

    ReplyDelete
  4. A blank page is a huge opportunity staring us in the face.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I used to be so much better at this but lately I've been getting defeated by the blank page :) Usually I try to have a plan for the next day. Most often I have my chapters planned out and that helps me know where to start when I pick up the pen (or open the laptop) again.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Argh, I hate the blank page too. I usually try and put myself right into a scene. Have some people start talking or dong something active. I've found that to be the easiest trick- convincing myself that something is happening...so that something does ACTUALLY happen. lol.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Maybe the blank page is scary because it makes us feel responsible.

    Sometimes, I begin with, hello blank page here I am again. Of course, I erase it and begin typing the words moving in my heart and mind.

    Something has moved me to write. It may be called "the muse", but whatever it is, I cannot write well without it.

    Great post.

    (Will continue to pray for Christopher. & Happy Birthday to Ivy.)

    ReplyDelete
  8. The only way to defeat anything is to just do it. You might end up erasing 90% of the words you wrote, but there's still 10% that you'll keep.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I enjoy the empty page. It's another place to go play.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I write out the words one letter at a time. I usually gain momentum the more I write, and then the page is full. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Argh! The empty page is by far the most difficult part of writing for me. That's when I most question myself as a writer, when I feel the greatest insecurity. For me, it is ultimately a leap of faith - and that takes a lot of stewing and brewing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The only thing I'd add to reading and writing is praying! Sometimes I come to that blank page with absolutely no idea what to write - I pray for inspiration and for the Lord's guidance as to what He'd have me share that day (in the case of my blog). With my WIP, prayer is key. Making sure I'm sensitive to the examples and Bible passages He'd have me write about.

    It's fun to look back on what I've written and praise the Lord, knowing He's directed me once again! Have a great week, Robyn!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's been so long since I wrote anything meaningful I should "retire my writer/author title". Guess I'll just name myself "new grandmother in training".

    Hope you have the most wonderful Week!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I try to face the blank page with a certain amount of anticipation mixed with anxiety and longing that hopefully heightens my awareness for the journey ahead.

    When I get stuck, I remember what Will Hobbs said: "Writing a novel is an act of faith." That helps me to just keep going, knowing that wherever I end up with the story, whether it gets submitted or stashed in the corner of my hard-drive, that it is okay.

    ReplyDelete
  15. If I'm paralyzed by the computer screen, I revert to pen and paper. The old-fashioned way releases the words.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I agree that we should try to write atleast one page daily. If I am stalked by writer's block, then I start reading my MS from begining and start brainstorming( jotting down new plot ideas or new plot twists). Listening to music helps.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great post Robyn! I'm at that place right now. A blank page and a story I want to write, but not quite sure how. I think it's scary too!! Thanks for this bit of inspiration.

    I had a great Thanksgiving! I hope you did too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Put something on it so that it's not blank anymore. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great advice. There's always a vague nervousness when I start a new project. I find myself wanting to mop or any other task I usually loathe--anything to not face the blank screen! But I force myself and quickly fall in love.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Just popped in with some good wishes. Hope everything goes okay today.

    ReplyDelete

Leave me a note! :)