How Scary is a Blank Page?

There are many things that scare people – mice, heights, snakes, spiders, flying, open spaces, closed spaces. In fact, there is quite an extensive listing of phobias on Wikipedia.
When I checked out the listing, guess what I didn’t see? Fear of a Blank Page.
Yet when I speak to  business owners, one of their biggest fears is sitting down to write a sales letter, email newsletter, anything really that requires them to sell their business or nurture a relationship with their customers.
The flashing cursor on a blank white page frightens many. With good reason. Where do you start? What do you say? Is it better to say something even if it reads badly than not?
Creativity stops for many business owners. I’ve spoken to so many who say that they know exactly what they’re going to say but then nothing.
Have you experienced this: You line your fingers across the ASDF and JKL: keys ready to write yet you can’t remember what you were going to say, that catchy line, the killer action point, the laugh a minute letter.
What happens? It’s akin to stage fright. Here are some tips to get started
1. Write Anything

  • Do you have a to-do list that your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend/child/partner gave you?
    Write it down.
  • Do you have an email you wanted to send to your best friend?
    Write it down on the word document not the email programme.
  • Have you a newspaper to hand?
    Write a paragraph from it

Once words appear on a page, it’s so much easier to delete than start.
2. What would you like to read?
Think about what you would like to read. Whether it be the football results, a review of the GAA match, a TV programme perhaps or a funny story, write it down. You want the writing juices to flow.
3. Remember the E word
Edit. You can edit anything that you write. The first draft doesn’t have to be eloquent, perfect, laugh a minute. It just needs to be a start.
So go on, try it. Three little steps to get you started. Once you’re started, we can really get to grips with what you want to say but first things first. Get writing!

6 thoughts on “How Scary is a Blank Page?”

    1. Hi Alan, thanks for stopping by. Glad you made your first comment. Isn’t that what you were telling me for ages – just get started! Hope all is well with you.

  1. Very practical and helpful post Denise. I agree with your first point here – a good place to start dealing with writer’s block is to write about something else and it doesn’t even have to make sense. Just writing free-style without even thinking about structure or thought can be therapeutic and sometimes you can be amazed at what insights and inspiration can come to you this way.

    1. Thanks Marie. You just need to put pen to paper; keys to keyboard. The first step is always the hardest, isn’t it?

  2. Super post, Denise. I often suffer from “it has to be perfect before I start” syndrome! I’ll bear your words of wisdom in mind. I’ll start jumping in and working with drafts. Thank you.
    Best wishes, Fiona.

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