Battles with the Empty Page

Battles with the Empty Page
My latest blog post

The battle begins as it always does.  I sit down, roll my chair close to the edge of my desk, turn on the lamp, grab my pen and stare down at the first page of a pad of paper.  Like two samurai facing each other silently in the rain, weapons drawn, we begin.

The blank page of paper, looking up at me, taunts me with it pristine white surface and delicate blue ruled lines, daring me to write my profound thoughts and elegant prose upon it, already knowing that I have neither.

I stare at the page for what seems like hours, but of course, nothing comes to mind for me to begin to write.  Finally, in a quiet fit of rage at my utter ineptitude, I draw first blood.  Not with words of course, but I mar the page’s surface with an angry doodle face.  THAT is its punishment for continually taunting me; an ugly black ink tattoo in the upper right corner.  A scar for all to see.  The fight is on…

The battle rages for some time.  The page, in silent defiance, arrogantly dares me to write something.  My pen tip, hovering over the first line of its surface like an executioner’s axe over the neck of its victim, always threatening to write something, ANYTHING, to show what I’m capable of.  But always, if my pen touches the paper, it is to draw intricate shapes and angles in the margins, not words.
If words do touch the surface, they are meaningless sentence fragments, aborted efforts of an idea or concept.

The page takes these cuts willingly, each mark evidence of MY pain, my inability to write anything of substance.

Finally, in a fit of despair, I rip the sheet of paper from its stack of brothers, torture it by angrily balling it up into a tight little wad, and toss it with disdain on the floor at my feet.

“There.”, I think, lording over it like Goliath over David, “Have anything to say now?!?”. Unfortunately, the analogy is a poor one, as mine often are.  The wad of paper does resemble a stone, and it mentally cracks me right between the eyes.  The paper silently declares its victory, not having to suffer the ineptitude of my meaningless prose, the ultimate torture for any piece of paper.  Over time, it is joined by many of its brethren; all balled up, lying in heaps at my feet.

I finally give up, defeated.  Rising from my chair to retrieve my office trash can, begrudgingly giving these valiant opponents the funeral they deserve.  Muttering to myself that it no surprise that many writers drink to excess, I slump back down in my chair, defeated.  As my eyes wander back down to the desk, I see a blank piece of paper, glaring up at me in silent defiance.  The battle is rejoined.


Carolina grad, business owner, Master of the Oblivious, "Rural Renaissance Man", dog lover, family man, geek...

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