It’s white. Perfect white. Too white. It’s cotton balls and a pillow case. White. All white. The whiteness magnifies its blankness. The more white, the less you can ignore the emptiness.
The blank page starts to mock you. He whispers in your ear You haven’t written anything yet. I’m still white, and I’m still winning.
Your hand twitches with the urge to backhand the blank page. You refill your coffee cup instead. And notice the trash overflowing. When you see the dog pooped on the back sidewalk again. Which reminds you the shovel handle needs repaired.
You sit down in front of the blank page three hours later. Cold coffee sloshing in your stomach and a splinter in your thumb. The blank page hasn’t moved. The blank page hasn’t allowed distraction. The blank page claims victory, because it has accomplished what it set out to do: stay white.
Your fingers poise over the keyboard. Words, come! You scream into the cobwebs of your brain. I need you. I want you. Where did you go, and why won’t you come back?
The blank page chooses silence. It battles with you in the quiet. Doing nothing, saying nothing, being nothing. Nothing but white. Nothing but blank. It is enough.
Anger at the blank page dissolves into frustration, slipping into despair. It is a battle you have been fighting for years, a battle that feels like a war.
The blank page is nothing but white, but it is a powerful enemy. Each time you fail to mar the whiteness with your words, the blank page slaps a mark in his win column. And then your head starts to think all those marks mean something. That past victories mean future victories. That you’ll never win the battle of the blank page.
Quit with the negative attitude. No surprise the blank page smothers you with his silence and emptiness. That attitude gives away the victory, you just as well never sit down to battle the blank page at all.
You are holding the words if you’ll just loosen your grip. Wage war on the blank page, and the words will tumble out in a torrent. Fight the battle and listen to the words instead of the emptiness of the blank page.
This is battle, and it is a war. Words can be silenced, words can disappear into the empty white expanse of a blank page if you aren’t willing to fight for them. Put up your fists. Duke it out.
It may be painful at first. The beginning may be nothing but drivel to fill the waste basket. But those words, in all their stumbling awkwardness, accomplish one mighty thing. They take away the whiteness of the blank page. They fill the emptiness. They ease the strangle-hold of the blank page.
The words are black against the white. Their march across the page is your road to victory in the battle of the blank page.