There are a number of things you can do with a blank piece of paper, or a blank screen.
You can stare at it.
You can write on it.
You can draw on it.
(You can also make paper airplanes and origami, but for purposes of this post, we’ll stick with things that involve writing implements.)
Staring at it is the least productive option. Staring usually involves mental paralysis, perhaps even fear that you or I will have nothing worthwhile to say.
And you know how I sabotaged the process just then?
By tossing in that innocuous-sounding word “worthwhile.”
Because if you’re all balled up because you can’t think of ANYTHING to say, you just threw up a second roadblock by saying it not only has to be ANYTHING, it has to be WORTHWHILE.
If you’re in a place where you want to write/create something and you just feel stuck, the best thing to do is just anything. Write something, even if you end up writing, “I can’t think of anything to write!” Because then you’ve successfully written seven words. Now write the next sentence. Then, write the next sentence after that. You’ve already written something, and if you keep writing, at some point you may even find yourself writing something worthwhile.
But under no circumstances can you keep staring at a blank screen until you give up. Just write anything until you accidentally write something.
This post is an example of how this works.
I was staring at a blank screen, wondering I would share for this blog this morning. My mind was almost as blank as the screen.
I wrote, “There are a number of things you can do with a blank piece of paper, or a blank screen.”
And the rest followed.