The Blank Page Syndrome


Have you ever felt frozen in place? You know what you want to do but you have absolutely no idea where to begin?

That is called the blank page syndrome.

This is very common to writers and artists, but I think that it can be something that occurs with just about everyone. –You need to start getting things together for the holidays, but you have no idea where to begin. The job seems insurmountable and taking that first step improbable, if not impossible. The task feels beyond what you are capable of, or even simply what you want to be capable of. After all, who relishes all of that dusting and washing of floors, let alone shopping for both gifts, and the fabulous banquet you promised your family? Ugh.

Like an artist staring at a white canvas, you simply don’t know where to begin.

Like I tell my students, you simply need to put brush to canvas. Do anything. Start anywhere. Make a mark, dot, word, stroke, or even paint the entire background one color…but definitely, make it a color you like.

This translates to just about every task you can think of. Even grocery shopping. Do you like eating desserts? Start at the bakery making a list of things you would like to serve at your meal. Even if you plan on making everything yourself, you can find a plethora of ideas there. And it is always fun trying out the samplesJ. Once you get started, the ideas will start rolling in, and before you know it the job is done, or well on its way at least.

The blank page syndrome is often linked to a fear of making a mistake.

Most artists and writers want perfection. They focus so deeply on having the perfect words or the perfect picture that they sit frozen in place just deciding what that is. Like all of us, they want to take the fewest steps to the best outcome.  Honestly, I can’t blame them.  But what would happen if we let go of perfect and just let the canvas surprise us?

Words can be edited.

Pictures can be painted over.

Desserts can be eaten and remade – yes!

The flow of creativity usually begins once you are in motion. When I sit down to create something, whether it is a picture, a story, or a post, I rarely know what that is going to look like.  I may have a vague impression or a word or idea that has been floating around, but it isn’t until I start tapping the keyboard or dipping my brush in the paint that my muse decides to show up.

I don’t know what your canvas is today, be it cleaning the house, or starting an art journal, but do yourself a favor and let go of perfect. Dip your brush in something colorful. Write the first sentence, even if you will ultimately change it. Pick up that dust rag and get to work. I guarantee once you begin, your muse will not want to be left out of the process and will show up with a yawn and a stretch.

Something is waiting to be created in your life today. Won’t you listen to it?

Today on Creative Faith I am featuring a post on mastering the blank page. I will be showing you 3 techniques to get you started on your art journal pages. Even if you have never done that kind of journaling, stop by and check it out…

it might be exactly the push you need to get started.


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