A blank page is scary but it’s also something to be thankful for. A blank page is opportunity and opportunity is a chance at success or failure, learning, and heartbreak. It’s an essential part of a creative process. These are all things to celebrate. Over time the blank page will fill up with a story, one that you’ve scribed line by line, through your everyday motions. You’re choices, actions, and indecision are the prose. The punctuation settles in spot matching pauses, exclamations, abrupt stalls, and questions we encounter and embody.
Along the way, you’ll go back and reread the novel that’s unfolding under your pen to examine that the narrative has a thread running intricately through characters and themes. At any time, a good book will break away from its main theme and follow the characters individually into a dark, downward spiral or fruitful ascent to success, but in the end the author will thread these back into unity. You’ll go back to your story and correct spelling and continuity errors but this is a luxury in which our metaphor doesn’t lend to life. In and of themselves, those mistakes are not negative; they are a part of the creative journey. We desire to improve on our mistakes and by doing so we better the next chapter of our story. The mistakes and themes of the past are definite but can empower the script of future stories. You can’t rewrite the past but you can write the future.
This path of creative iteration should be celebrated as you experience the writing, the editing, as well as the struggles and glorious highs that come with it.
The blank page is the beginning and the next step—both the empty notebook and the new chapter. It’s simply what’s ahead of you. For a new chapter to begin, what’s before needs to come to an end, or at least pause and wait. This ending could be a strained march, grasping to complete a tattered thought. It could also be the neatly wrapped conclusion of a moving story. Either way the chance to start something fresh is on the next page.
A new start. The next chapter.
Sometimes you just need to turn the page and let the pure white sheet of snow before you inspire the story. Be a curious and excitable child who opens the door to the potential of a snowy playground and not something frigidly oppressive. Opportunity will rouse or paralyze.
Despite paralysis the story continues whether you’re the one writing it or not. It’s up to you pick the pen back up and choose how the story turns out. Know that through these circumstances not reaching the heights of your expectations—turning your dreams onto what’s on the page—isn’t failure, just a step in the creative process. Keep writing even when you don’t know how the pieces fit and especially when you don’t know where the story is going. Be roused by what the story could become and excited by how what you create could turn out more interesting than anything you’ve known before.
And again you edit.
When you think most certainly you know the direction of the story, introspection can keep a clear path defined. Under the strength of your convictions, stories will swiftly fill the pages. Meditating on your course isn’t to slow you down but to make sure your compass is well directed. Move to this direction with gusto.
Being truly thankful is about examining what we are given, not what we take. In that essence the blank page is what we should celebrate. Possibilities are offered up to us continually, indifferent of their outcome. Our foolishness to let these possibilities go (or lack of awareness that they’re even in front of us) shouldn’t stop us from recognizing where they came from. Be thankful for opportunities and celebrate the successes and gains in your creative path. Be grateful of the blank page for you to craft your story.