Blank pages are supposed to excite me. After all, it is the blank page that invites me to create. Yet I stare at the invitation offered, filled with terror, the little voice in my head whispering “you have nothing to say that people want to listen to.”
Years ago when I felt this way, I could drop in on Twitter and with a hashtag, discuss my fears with the writing community. Now it feels as if there is a very little listening, only talking. I am probably wrong, but when you’re ready to click delete on a project that has been two years in the making, nothing makes sense.
I feel silly feeling this way. After all, I am the woman who told her shrink last week “Stephen King ruined one of my favorite books because I realized how many adverbs were on the first page.” So I am always thinking about writing. Studying language. Wondering where my characters are hiding, and what their next moves might be.
I am reading — voraciously — listening to books and podcasts, hoping to find inspiration, reading blogs by other writers, and trying to not listen to the voices in my head. I have spent my time on the yoga mat where I argued with myself over my poses, and drank more coffee than any one human should be able to consume on given day. There have been long walks, longer showers, self-care out the wazoo, and my shell is… empty.
Somehow, everything has lost its sparkle. There are no shiny pencils to unwrap that will inspire me — not even a new package of Blackwings will help. And believe me, that order has been placed. If my husband is reading this “Sorry, not sorry, honey.”
So I am left with the blank pages, feeling very alone and wishing my brain wasn’t trapped in a wrestling move I worry I’ll never break out of.