Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Day 22 - The empty page

I've been sitting here with this draft open for the past 15 minutes wondering what to write about and I still haven't zeroed in on a topic. So I decided, Carpe Diem! Let me write about the empty page that I am staring at.

The empty page is both a promise, and a threat. Promise, because it holds so much potential. It could be a fine article, or a bestseller, a modern classic, or your magnum opus. A threat, because it is almost definite that what comes onto the page in black and white is in no way near the multi-coloured explosion of fabulousness that you are seeing in your mind.

I recently read an article that the reason writers procrastinate so much is this. As long as that article, that story, that poem, that novel is not written, there is still hope for it. But the moment you sit down to write, your limitations come into effect, and you are faced with the knowledge that you have a long, long way to go.

That is the reason deadlines are such wonderful things. They force you to just do it. That is why I hold deadlines in such high esteem. And that is why I give myself a deadline even if nobody else does. Because deadlines are sacrosanct, and I stick by them, come what may. Deadlines are the only cure for a writer's procrastination. Deadlines are the only way that the threat of an empty page can be turned into the possibility of a fulfilled promise.

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