Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Drawing a Blank

Posted by: CobraMisfit
The Blank Page.

Ask any writer and they'll tell you that it's one of the most intimidating things they face. The emptiness sits there, staring back at us, waiting patiently for us to do something.


Yet we stare at it, excited by the possibilities of putting down new words, but terrified by the enormous void.

Therein lies the odd the duality of The Blank Page. On the one hand it represents freedom. Freedom to create. Freedom to innovate. Freedom to destroy. The Blank Page is a limitless, boundless entity and we, the writer, can literally do anything we wish to fill it.

On the other hand, it's a giant ocean of nothingness that demands our blood, sweat, and tears to bring to life. We must supply both the perimeter and the volume to make it real.

I was chatting with my Dragon Brother* recently about my own dance with the Blank Page. Having completed one series, I'd started work on several others, but was finding it harder to get the machine going than I'd expected. Sitting at my computer, I faced the vast horizon of a new world with new characters, but the physical act of putting "pen to paper" and fleshing them out was slow.

Was it writer's block? Fear? Intimidation? Laziness? Hunger?

His response?


All of it.

When I pressed him for details, he was, as usual, as insightful as he was accurate:

"We are in love with possibility and freedom. A blank page represents that. But freedom is terrifying. We are much more comfortable when we are within the safe limits. With each word we write, the project becomes more real, more concrete, more 'safe'. But at the same time, it starts to lose its possibilities. Its potentiality does down.

"The trick is shifting your enjoyment of the Possibilities with the Actualities as your pages go from blank to full. Enjoy the blank page because it is full of possibilities. Enjoy the full pages because they are the realization of potentiality."

"And remember: There are always more blank pages."

No matter what, the freedom and burden of creation rests on our shoulders and ours alone. We are the ones responsible for the development of new worlds. At the same times, we have infinite options. This is never more prevalent than when we are sitting before a blank screen. So enjoy it. Enjoy the thrill of limitless power and the satisfaction of making your worlds real.

And relish the fact that, as my DB so eloquently stated, there will always be more blank pages.

*Should you ever want to know anything about comics or mythology, I highly recommend checking out his blog: The Absorbascon.


Joshua Roots is a car enthusiast, beekeeper, and storyteller. He enjoys singing with his a cappella chorus, golf, and all facets of Sci-Fi/Fantasy. He's still waiting for his acceptance letter to Hogwarts and Rogue Squadron. He and his wife will talk your ear off about their bees if you let them.

His Urban Fantasy series, The Shifter Chronicles, is available wherever digital books are sold.

He's also "enjoying" the blank pages of some new worlds.


  1. how do you come UP with these ideas...?!

    1. "Inspiration" hassles me to complete these things so I will concentrate on the stuff HE wants.


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