Faced with an Empty Page

Opening a new, white and pristine page can be one of two things. It’s either exciting, pulse-raising and inviting, or terrifying, threatening and off-putting.

It doesn’t matter what sort of page this is – it can be a new page in a much used notebook, the first page of an unopened one, or the electronic, virtual one that comes up in a writing program.

No matter what emotion arises when faced with a blank page, the demand that it throws is undeniable. A blank page craves to be filled, to be written upon with ink or to be full of coded letters.

There’s nothing worse than opening a new page and feeling the terror bubbling in your throat, the pressure building up behind your eyes, in the crevices of your very mind. The emptiness seems to call to the very soul, demanding in loud and certain tones what it needs. Sometimes, fear can lead the way into the second, better emotion. Once a page starts to fill up, the demand lessens, the pressure recedes, and bit by bit, the terror evaporates.

There’s nothing better than opening a new page and feeling the excitement bubbling in your stomach, the itch in your fingers as they long to start writing and the images that jump around your mind, urging you onward, ever onward, so that you can’t resist putting down your pen to the paper or your fingers to the keyboard and beginning to write. When the page fills up, bit by bit, a sense of pride in your own words filling up such a space is added to the other emotions, and it too spurs you onward.

Sometimes, when a page is full, it demands another page to be opened. It’s not finished yet, the emptiness of the next page tells you, you must continue.

Sometimes, when the page is full, it’s enough. The urge, the need and the drive all quiet in you, and you can look at the full page and know that you’ve completed something, even if it’s not finished, you’ve put something down on the page, and there it will stay.

Being faced with an empty page is an adventure, whether dream or nightmare.

Journaling?

My mom recently bought me a set of navy-blue Moleskine notebooks that I just couldn’t resist. They’re beautiful, and that’s exactly where the problem lies. I always feel my handwriting is inferior, and as I have an intense stationary/notebook/pen fetish, I’m always scared of ruining my pretty notebooks with my handwriting.

So here’s my plan. I’ll use one of the notebooks to write some favorite quotations in. I always find certain phrases in books that I absolutely love and then I never write them down as I should. So I’ll use a notebook to finally do this properly.

One notebook will be put aside for some other idea if I have one.

The third and final notebook is destined (maybe) to become a journal. Not a “Dear Diary” journal in which I write about my day, but rather a journal in which I answer a certain prompt or question and explore my memories or opinions about things. I was thinking of then posting photographs of the pages on here and expose you all to my handwriting! This is where I need advice, though. Do any of you know any journaling project where you get a prompt once a week or once a day or something? Does anyone want to start a journaling group? Or should I just take prompts from one of the various journaling websites and commit to writing one or two prompts a week?

Hmm.