I don't know what it is about a blank page, a blank word document, or a blank blog post that is so intimidating. When you think about it, what's really that intimidating about it?
A blank page means endless ideas, endless words, endless thoughts that can be poured out. There are no guidelines, no stipulations, or any expectations to meet. I think writers forget that a lot.
When writing for leisure, the only expectations that need to be met are those of the writer. I opened this 'new post' page without any clue what I was going to write about. I sipped my coffee, lit up a cigarette, and started thinking to myself:
Why is it always so hard to just get started?
It shouldn't be.
I was running some errands on campus the other day and Dean had volunteered to pick me up. I finished up earlier than I expected and went to wait around at the Cheerful Tortoise. While I was there, I did something that I hadn't done in a long time. I picked up my small, leather-bound journal and started writing about my surroundings. I thought about how much they contrasted what I was feeling at the time. I wrote about the people, what their life disappointments may be, how they ended up where they were. I wrote about the other customers in the bar, what may have driven them there.
When Dean finally got there after getting turned around in traffic, we made observations together. There was a young group of people sitting at one table while a couple of old-timers sat at one adjacent. The young table, likely college students taking a breather from the hustle of the start of the semester, were perched comfortably with drinks in tow playing on their smartphones, making little to no eye contact with one another whatsoever. The old-timers, maybe professors maybe not, were sitting there, making eye contact and actually having a conversation. It was a unique contrast in the times, displayed right before our eyes.
It's kind of funny to me how the older generation still gets by in this modern world without a hitch. They've held their jobs for years, mostly never changing or creating necessity for use of modern technology save for office computers and what not. Now, it's almost expected of everyone to have that smartphone, to have that iPad, to make themselves connected at all times in this increasingly ridiculous world that we live in.
I embrace technology. I know that as the life of a writer gets increasingly more competitive as the years go on, it's necessary to be connected, to be able to find those jobs and opportunities, to be able to be in touch with all of your contacts all of the time. Somehow, though, these people bypassed that. They continue to lead their happy, technologically deprived lives and they prefer it that way.
I know this has nothing to do with my original thought process for this blog post. But there it is--the power of the blank page.