Curse of the Blank Page

A writer’s worst enemy is the blank page. That’s true whether you’re writing fan fiction or your thirtieth full-length novel. The secret is just writing. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t going to have some days where you’re struggling to put words down, and it certainly doesn’t mean that those words are always going to be a cohesive idea. Again, the trick is just putting words on the paper.

Hank Moody, David Duchovny’s character in Californication is my spirit animal. No, I don’t mean that I smoke a pack a day (I don’t smoke at all), or that I have a drinking problem (I do enjoy a nice whiskey or brandy), and I certainly don’t have women fawning over me (only one, hey babe). Hank Moody exemplifies the darker side of what it means to be a writer. Bear with me now, don’t scoff and turn away just yet. He struggles with writing. 

Now, you might be thinking. “Second blog post and this guy is off his rocker.” Not so much. Okay, maybe, but I’m getting there. Now, read on. Hank Moody is a flawed writer. He writes a big hit and he struggles like crazy to get back to where he was — in fact, he pretty much gives up. Like most writers, Moody has his inspirations. In his case, it’s his muse, his multiple-time-failed relationship with the mother of his child. That’s important, because it takes her to give life to his writing. He talks about sitting down in front of an old typewriter and banging out a novella… but it was because she inspired him.

Inspiration makes up half of what cures the curse of the blank page. Put on some music, watch a movie — hell, just let it play in the background — make love to someone, read your favorite book. Look for that inspiration, that special something that ignites a fire inside of you to get. it. done.

Find your muse and put something on the blank page.

You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.
-Jodi Picoult

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