Friday, April 17, 2015

The Blank Page Battle

Ask a writer to list the most daunting thing they have to face and I bet 9 out of 10 would say: the blank page.

It’s a screen of white and it’s filled with the possibility of everything that could go right.

It’s a screen of white and it’s filled with the possibility of everything that could go wrong.

It starts with Once upon a time…

And concludes with The End.

It induces panic.

It insights creativity.

It’s the most marvelous of beginnings and the most desperate of starts.

But it’s just a blank page.

And it’s only blank as long as there aren’t any words on the screen. Because once you put fingers to keyboard and type anything at all, that blank page is no longer blank. And one filled page spills over to become two and two becomes three and three becomes an entire novel.

What is writing? One blank page on top of another blank page, filled with words that string together 
to tell a story.

I don’t think it’s the first page that is the hardest for me to fill. To be honest, that one is easy, because the story is fresh and new, bubbling forth with excitement and climax of words pushing for release.

It’s the middle of the story when the blank pages still to be filled overwhelm me. Doubts start to surface and I don’t think I can reach THE END. I don’t think that I can squeeze more one word from my parched mind as it struggles to put these characters through their paces.

This is where doubt and fear begin to have their way in my heart and my fingers freeze on the keyboard. Lies bombard my mind telling me no matter what I write, its trash. Only fit to be burned in the rubbish heap.




But as writers we too often believe them, instead of rebuking them in the name of Jesus.
It doesn’t matter how long you have been writing. It doesn’t matter how many books you have to your name—published or not. These lies are attacks straight from the enemy’s quiver.

Why? Because you are doing something that will have eternal impact for the kingdom of God. 
Whether your book is read by one person or ten thousand persons, God promises that His word cannot go out into this world and come back void.

And the enemy wants nothing to do this with promise. In fact, he wants to attack everything about this promise and completely thwart its forward progress.

And the easiest place he can start is you staring at the blank page.

Do you prepare yourself for battle when you sit down to write? If you have been called to write, you will feel this pressure. This fight. But in all things, all things God promises to strengthen us to do this task through the will of Christ Jesus.

Including filling that blank page.

Because it doesn’t matter how many times you have to rewrite. It doesn’t matter how many times you have to rethink and edit those words.

A blank page won’t impact a life. A blank page won’t fight a spiritual war. A blank page won’t change the outcome of your dream.

Only a filled page can and will. So don’t allow the lies of the evil one to crowd out this one, steadfast and honest truth: you. are. capable. 

Casey Herringshaw is a homeschool graduate and has been writing since high school. She is a country girl now living in a metropolis of Denver, Colorado, employed as an a


Ruth Logan Herne said...

I am turning this frown upside down! I love blank pages. They are my reward for finishing a project. I always have two projects going at once because I clear my head from one... by working on the other. But my REWARD!!!! is in finishing one so I can start the next! I keep a sheet of ideas live on the computer, a simple word doc at the bottom, so if an idea comes to me, I jot it down and let it percolate while I spend weeks finishing whatever... and as ideas grow in my head about it, I jot them down too. By the time I'm done with WIP, I've got notes... and I can SEE the people... and I can dive in. Working on more than one thing at a time could help blank-page-itis, because you never have to face it again!

(Of course, we know I am slightly manic, and I love production ratios, and I don't like anything better than writing except God and family.... and family is iffy! :) )

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Casey, I loved these words: "A blank page won’t impact a life. A blank page won’t fight a spiritual war. A blank page won’t change the outcome of your dream."

Thank you for this reminder. I need it today.

kaybee said...

Good post, Casey. We need to be reminded (frequently in my case) why we do this.
Kathy Bailey

Corina B said...

Without fail, your posts always seem to be a word in due season for me. Thank you for attacking the 'blank page' when it comes to your blog. More often than not, God uses it to remind me that He's with me on this journey and that I CAN do this!