My Thoughts, The Writer's Life

Once Again, With Feeling: The Empty Page

Life happens. And then it keeps happening. And by the time it starts to happen a little less – by the time you might actually have a little mental space for thinking thoughts and time space to write them down – you realize you’re used to the empty page, at peace with the simplicity of having written nothing.

The blog light grows dim, the empty page becomes an empty stage. There are no actors in the wings. No orchestra in the pit. No director pacing back and forth scribbling notes in his head.

But there are people in the audience. Some are regulars, virtual friends who visit every day just in case. Others are strangers who wandered in off the street because the door was open. And then there’s that creepy guy who lives in the balcony.

They’re here because of you. They want to see what you can do. They want to be entertained and informed. They want you to confirm and erase their fears with clever wordplay. They want you to shake the rafters with brilliance and break their hearts with unresolved chords. They want to feel. They want to applaud.

They get it, of course – they understand that life happens. It happens to them, too. They’ll give you grace for that. But now…now they’re beginning to wonder where you’re going with this.

And so are you.

So you cut the lights and exit the metaphor, stage left.

The regulars smile knowingly. The strangers wonder why you didn’t just edit the metaphor out of the blog post in the first place. The creepy guy who lives in the balcony falls to his knees, stunned to tears by the wisdom hidden so deep within the metaphor even you can’t see it.

And then you’re back to the empty page. Staring at it.

You’re tired of trying to be clever. You’re tired of trying to be wise. You just want say something small, something simple, something true. And so you begin…

The empty page is a curious thing. It seems to have a mind of its own.

It cajoles. It demands. It threatens. It pleads. It heaps guilt.

But that’s not the empty page. The empty page doesn’t care what you do.

The empty page doesn’t feel lonely.

The empty page doesn’t ache for meaning.

And, no, that’s not the blank page crying out to be filled.

It’s you.

10 thoughts on “Once Again, With Feeling: The Empty Page

  1. What you just wrote right here could not have hit me more than now as the perfect timing. I am in the process of recovering and created a website for my self and “to see” what happens as the ultimate goal for me is writing my book. The book is for myself even though I love to write and for my family even if it never makes money. Although if it does, that is always a nice thing too! But I have needed to create something for myself an an outlet as I do not get out too much these days and this lil project has brought me joy. I do find what you wrote about to be dead on. We all have those times where the mind is so busy it becomes blank. If that makes any sense at all. It is in those times I have to really focus on getting quiet for content to surface. That is rare in my chaotic and busy household. So thank you so much for your words and please if you can find some spare time if you would not mind checking out my site and some honest feedback would be great!!! But please remember, I am not out for bells and whistles. My focus is the content! Have a terrific day!Gina

    1. Hi Gina. Thanks so much for stopping by. I visited your site and read a bit of your story. It left me in a bit of a puddle (see above comment). Just keep telling the truth and your words will touch the people they’re supposed to.

  2. Your words always leave me wordless. I want to write an interesting, intelligent comment but all I can do is sit here thinking, wow I can see what he’s doing there – and even though I can see it, he’s still managed to do it to me.

    There you go, I managed to sound like the creepy balcony guy. I should have just smiled knowingly – except that’s kind of hard to do in a written comment 😉 I honestly don’t care if you never write another blogpost except this one: “the book goes on sale tomorrow.”

    1. I’m pretty sure I’m the creepy balcony guy at your blog. Your words are the kind of words that speak the unspoken and leave me speechless. This is why I don’t comment there as much as I would like. But I must say, the view from the balcony is lovely.

  3. There was a hum of silence after the final word. The sentence had ended and their throats burned as they gasped the raw truth. Applause began to ripple and spread like a virus through the auditorium along with the sound of red velvet seats springing shut as they stood. “Encore!” they demanded as the curtain fell.

    The stage remained quiet and the applause in turn was cured by calm and soft whispers of agreement. Seats were once again lowered. Encore would come.

    Until then – thank you.

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