I’m Drawing a Blank

It is the pleasure and pain of every writer… a blank page with a blinking cursor. It’s both the promise of brilliance and the threat of defeat. Given that I make my living as a creative professional, I encounter the sheer terror of a stark white canvas on a daily basis. In fact, it’s been nearly a month since my last Living Wide post, not because I haven’t learned anything in these past weeks as I’ve continued my journey, but because I’ve been completely at a loss as to how to articulate it.

This happens to me sometimes. I have many half ideas, things that are nice little nuggets of knowledge, but a lot of them aren’t necessarily translatable to others. But just as soon as that thought comes into my head, I realize, somebody out there somewhere is likely encountering a living wide learning experience just like me.

So, here’s me, getting over my writers fear of releasing half-fleshed out ideas. Let me know if you can relate.

I love to quote people way smarter than me. The quick reminders by far more brilliant minds than mine, like Mark Twain, Eleanor Roosevelt and the ultimate Bartlett’s, the one and only God almighty, are encouraging sound bite that get me out of my own head so I can see the bigger picture. Plus, they say it way better than I ever could.

And just as I am a fan of quoting smarty pants people, I equally love the messages in fortune cookies. To some, it’s just a nuisance slip of paper in a perfectly good cookie, but when the fortune is fatefully timed, like, “In life, you won’t go far unless you know where the goalposts are,” it can be a bit of magic in your day.

Panic is never a normal response. If you ever find yourself walking into a situation—relationship, job, project—where your immediate and regular response is a sense of dread so acute it’s causing you to look for the nearest paper bag, life is too short and you don’t need it. Walk away.

Ever heard the expression, “Giving up the ghost?” It’s not indicatively southern, but I think I’ve heard it more back home than in most places. It basically means to release the apparition that has a negative hold on you. Are you making excuses for something in your life, or promising yourself that things will change? More often than not, what needs to change in those situation is you… your thinking, your attitude, your approach. What is haunting you?

And finally, the idea of whispers and sledgehammers. Not too long ago, I held a mirror up for a good friend. They were feeling a bit overwhelmed in their life, and though I couldn’t fully relate to their experience, I could see God at work. For me, God often speaks in whispers and sledgehammers. First, its a quite insistence that I generally ignore for awhile. Then, when I’m being really stubborn, He whacks me on the head with a sledgehammer, completely befuddling me until I have nowhere to turn except to Him. Let’s just say, my friend and I are working on the in between.

Has a blinking cursor been taunting you too? Make sure to let out your half thoughts in the comments section.

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2 thoughts on “I’m Drawing a Blank

  1. Right now my blinking cursor is taunting me to pull the trigger in a big way. Should I stay or should I go. That is the question that is taunting me. I love my job and I am very good at it. I write triple the production of anyone in my office, which as you may realize makes me very unpopular and creates a very hostile work enviroment. I have other offers but the fear of something new paralizes me. As unhappy as I am I just can’t seem to make a decesion. I know what I should do but I just can’t execute. I wish someone would smack me with a sledgehammer of courage.

  2. Wouldn’t a sledgehammer of courage be great, Kristi. I can definitely understand your dilemma and your hesitation, but “something new,” though scary, can be really great too. Just a suggestion, have you thought about the root of your fear? If you address that, maybe your blinking cursor won’t be so terrifying.

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