Slice of Life Tuesday: Confronting The Blank Page

I have been hearing a lot about writer's block and the challenge of the blank page in my recent discussions in schools and it set me to thinking...


Writers, experienced and inexperienced all face the challenge of the blank page. So let's approach the writing we choose to do with a can-do attitude. The blank page is the very reason the rehearsal of our 'first' or opening words is so vitally important. 

When we rehearse those initial words, we turn up to the party bearing gifts! We bring with us a string of words to launch our writing. Words ready to splash across the page. Words to get things going. These rehearsed words provide momentum. 

I very much enjoy rehearsing my words. There exists in my head a rich world of words and ideas. They entertain me and prepare me for the writing that follows. This is pre-writing. This is the build up. I consider this a vital part of  the writing process; something to share with student writers, so they can prepare their words too.

To help develop a can do attitude I have written this poem, a battle cry of sorts. A poem to create a mind set for action. We should hold no fear of the blank page. The idea of writer's block is something of an excuse. Afterall, do doctors suffer doctor's block? Do electricians suffer electricians block? Let's get this party started!


Beating the Blank Page
A Battle-Cry for the Brave Young Writer

Hello blank page
I’m here to let you know
You hold no fear for me
I come prepared
For above all things, I am a mighty writer
A writer armed with fearless words
And clever, tenacious ideas
Your unmarked surface
Your dazzling, papery blankness
Are no match for a word warrior
Such as me
I shall stare you down
I shall annoy you
I shall employ you
I shall destroy you one word at a time
Watch as you yield to the irresistible spread of my words
My powerful phrases
My vivid verbs
My agile adjectives
Letter by letter
Bit by bit
Your landscape will be transformed
Your emptiness filled
You hold no fear for me Blanky- Blank Page
For I remain a mighty writer
And I shall stare you down
Take my word for it.

Alan j Wright


Image result for the blank page


Comments

  1. Love your poem. It is all about attitude and showing that blank page who is boss.

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    1. Thank you Robert. As the saying goes, attitude is everything.

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  2. Wonderful voice and here are my two favorite lines:
    "You hold no fear for me Blanky- Blank Page
    For I remain a mighty writer"
    I love the can-do attitude in these lines.

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    1. Thank you Ramona. Glad you found words that resonated.

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  3. Hey Alan,
    Nice to see you, read your poem. LOVE it. I agree with the power of pre writing. I've been doing a lot of it lately. but that poem. I want to keep it and share it with others. Is that okay?
    Bonnie

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    1. Thanks Bonnie. The power and importance of pre-writing is significant. Please feel free to share my little poem. I'd be honoured.

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  4. Thank you for the poem. Something I needed to read, as I have struggled with writing this summer. No excuse.

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    1. I hope the words of the poem inspire you Terje. May you find your force.

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  5. Rehearsals ... I am thinking of how I often will walk around, toying with phrasing in my head (this happens more with songwriting and poems than with other writing). I appreciate the poem and the call to start the party.
    :)
    Kevin

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    1. Both songwriting and poetry require the strong presence of rehearsal as you say Kevin, and in your meandering I have little doubt you devote a lot of time to this noble task. Glad you like the poem.

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  6. Above all, a writer must be determined, or the beautiful words remain only inside us, and die with us. How powerfully conveyed here. A rallying battle-cry , indeed.

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    1. Thank you Fran. Indeed, if a writer is not determined to deliver the words into the light, they do remain trapped. In time they wither and fade away. We must raise our voices and we must be prepared to commit our words to the page.

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  7. You offer great advice and some that I am glad your students will hear. Fortunately, I have never experienced writer's block (if it does exist). Like you, I do a lot of pre-writing in my head. I find that once I sit down, the words are ready to flow out onto the page if I have let them simmer in my head long enough! Love the poem, too!

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    1. I love the notion of words and ideas 'simmering' in the head prior to the act of writing. Like you I find myself rarely stuck for writing inspiration. My writing process is greatly supported by a range of pre-writing actions, for which I remain eternally grateful. Glad you enjoyed the poem...

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