Tomorrow is the first blank page of a brand new book that is 365 pages in length. Here’s to the clean slate:
In creative circles, much is said about the scariness of the indomitable white page. Like the rookie who cannot get a job without experience, it is difficult for the blank page to get any momentum without a few marks–or a few words. In fact, the white page can become a dreadful adversary who glares at us–daring us to make that first mark.
I paint and I also write; and in both fields, the blank page has frequently intimidated me. This year, however, I am thrilled that tomorrow, I’ll open a fresh, clean journal that is filled with 365 white pages. I am excited to consider what I can potentially do with a new slate.
Yesterday, I wrote that my New Year’s Resolution is to write blog posts, at least six out of every seven days of the coming new year. Here I often write more than one blog post per day. It is reasonable to expect that by this time next year, I’ll have written 365 blog posts. My blog posts are normally at least 750 words in length. This post has about 700 words, which translates to about 2.5 pages of book text. Even if I write 365 shorter posts this year, I shall have written over 700 book pages, and that thought is exhilarating.
I have written several articles in which I examine my reasons for blogging, and they are numerous. Not long ago, I began to consider another reason for blogging–blogging to book. I have decided to join the throngs of writers who are using their blogs as instruments to break the creating of their new books into the small, executable tasks of writing it one post at a time. Once the articles are written, the blog becomes the vessel for holding the books in progress. The blogger will ultimately collate the posts into book form. This trend is referred to as Blogging to Book.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
While it might be scary to consider sitting down to write an entire book, from start to finish, the task of writing a blog post is not at all scary. To write in a blog, you do not need to be a creative writer. You might just post some photos and a few words of description, and be done. Nothing flowery is needed.
Our blogs do not demand of us to be Jane Austen. They merely ask that we show up and share something. Invariably, once we get started, more ideas will follow. In posting something–anything–we defeat our white pages, and after we have written or painted one thing, new ideas will follow. I promise that–they always do.
Creating works like bellows. When we emit what is readily available to us–what is there at the tip, ready to flood outward–we create a temporary void, a space that is ready to be filled again. As we pull the bellows, more is drawn into the bag–more is ready to be pushed outward again. In emptying ourselves, we pull more and more from within ourselves and subsequently allow things that are deeper and deeper within to surface. As we begin to create, we do allow our ideas to come out of the caverns where they are hiding. We create to unveil the creation.
Imagine it: Our books and our paintings are already inside us. We simply have to find a way to let them out–to let them run and play. The thought of that is thrilling.
If, over the coming year, I do write 6 out of every 7 days, I’ll no doubt discover a whole new world that is cloaked somewhere deep inside myself. I will have primed my pump, and the ideas will be flowing. Something will emerge from me that was waiting to be tapped.
As I look at the massive portfolio of white pages that lies ahead of me during 2016, I am not intimidated at all. I cannot wait to begin writing my new book. Join me!
Bring it on, 2016. Let the games begin!