The Blank Page of Dread

I was staring at the empty blog post window, wondering what to write about.  Nothing’s going on in my writing process right now that I haven’t already covered.  Nothing particularly interesting is happening in my life this moment (though I’m going to the zoo next week, which is terribly exciting because I adore zoos and aquariums and botanical gardens.)

I stared.  I thought.  I started feeling anxious, which is not something I want from my blogging.

Then I realized I haven’t written anything yet about how I deal with a blank page.

There’s gobs and heaps and piles of advice.  “Just start writing,” like that’s the easiest thing to do when you don’t have a topic or a first sentence.  Okay, then “start in the middle”–which is something I’m fond of, write what you’ve got, no matter where it falls in the story, and piece it together later.  (Though I’ve set it aside to work on publishing What We Need to Survive, I have a partial draft of its potential sequel, and I’m not at all sure that where I’ve started it is going to end up being the beginning.  Beginnings can be hard to pin down the first time.)

Free writing is good, where you just start writing down whatever comes to mind, no matter what it is or how it does/doesn’t relate to what you’re supposed to be writing; but I’ve had better luck with writing prompts.  Loosen up your brain with something inspirational but concrete, something you can see (I’m fond of photo prompts myself), or an opening line, or a character idea, whatever.

A jumping-off point.  They’re valuable tools, which is why I’m so fond of posting them.  Maybe I’ll do another set tomorrow.  Yeah, that’s a good idea.

And now my blog post window isn’t blank anymore.

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