a.k.a. sarrah

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a.k.a. sarrah

Page fright

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The blank page can be so daunting, even frightening sometimes. The cursor blinking, blinking, blinking, blinking, blinking.... and after you stare at it long enough, there might be a tinge of stage fright, or better called "page fright."When people perform in front of an audience, others tell them odd ways to overcome stage fright. It usually involves picturing the audience in a vulnerable place, e.g. entailing something like "picture them in their underwear." Not a very empowering predicament on the audience's side. But having page fright is different. The fear of ___. You fill in the blank, it is different for everyone. But the blank page, the blinking cursor is a reminder that you are staring at an audience that you will not even see: your readers. The people who will read the filled page, once blank, and love it or hate it. And what do you have for reassurance? A blank page. Here is a new idea that helps me. Do not think of anything beyond the blank page. Thank of it as you are staring at a blank face. There literally is going to be no reaction with or from the page. It is the most open audience anyone could have. The page will listen to whatever you write, genius or crap. Do not think about the audience of readers, they can wait until you are done with the page. What I do when I am struggling to get passed the page fright is imagine the page as an open ear, my closest friend, a place of no mistakes. Because when the cursor turns from blinking to typing, you have to let yourself free of fear and just write. Writing is an intimate activity. You are revealing yourself, yet are expected to not show yourself in your writing but have the writing speak on its own. To have in the end, the reader hear the writing not as a static form of art, but alive in their minds, even after they stop reading. To me, the page is a place to be free enough to make mistakes and find what I actually want to say, then later rewrite it for the audience that will judge me by my work. And by the way, it does not help me at all to try to picture my audience, the readers, in their underwear. Donot try that. Another thing that helps me is to write every day. Every day. It makes it easier to come back the next day and start up writing because the it is still fresh and alive in my mind. I feel more connected with what I am writing than when there are long periods of no writing. Honestly, I could go on and on about writing, it is my favorite subject to talk about. So I shall stop here saying, keep writing and be free. The love of writing is a gift, and when that love falters, the act of writing will bring back the love. So when you see this: do not let it stop you.