Have you ever heard of the terrible Blank Page Fear?
I have. I live this every day. And I named it.
It seems that the first word of the writing day is the worst. After the first one (or the first sentence), the rest starts to flow easily.
Starting is the hardest part of every activity. The hour before going to the gym is the worst. When you’re there, it’s not that bad. The time before starting to study or going to work… pure torture. Then, you enjoy it.
It’s the same thing with writing.
It’s the blank page fear. You stare at it, and it’s completely blank. You think: that’s it, still 100.000 words to go… I’ll never get to the end.
Today, I want to talk about ways to overcome this and exercises that you can do.
First of all, you have to know that you’re not afraid of the blank page per si (duh) but of the monumental work you have ahead.
Don’t think about that. We have to take one word at a time. Word after word, we will finish this.
How to Overcome the Blank Page Fear
1. You Haven’t Started Yet
This is the worst. When you have started your book, you can simply look at how many pages you’ve written already. Now, if you haven’t started yet, the best thing you can do is to make a template. This will allow you to not start totally in the blank but you’ll already have some words.
Make your template:
- Write the title
- The subtitle
- The author’s name
- The dedication page
- The epiphrase
- The summary
- The “look at my social media pages”
- The author’s bio
This is something I came up with so I wouldn’t start with a blank page. I already have some pages made and I would be “filling the gaps”.
If you don’t know what to do, you can simply come up with a temporary title. It doesn’t need to be your final title, just something like:
Dog Barks and Neighbour Wakes Up
2. You’ve already started but can’t seem to go on
In this case, you can repeat the last paragraph. Copy and paste it. This helps me to pick up where I left. Sometimes, I even delete middle of the last sentence and try to continue with something new. Don’t forget to highlight this, so you won’t forget that you did it.
A bit of good advice that I have is to always end your paragraph mid-sentence, so you always start at the point you’ve finished instead of having to think about something new each time.
Remember, starting is the hardest part. After you get past it, it gets much easier and you can simply flow. This is the case with everything in life.
Also, try to have your book outlined. Here I teach you how. In this way, you know what to do and you don’t feel stuck.
Another tip is to write the book in your head before writing it down. In this way, you’ll already have an idea of what the scene is about.
Summarizing. How to Start Writing:
- Always try to have a template
- Always try to pick up where you left, even if you have to repeat the same paragraph and try to change it
- Always end mid-sentence, so when you get it again, you have where to start.
- Have your book outlined so you know what to write.
- Write the scenes in your head. All the time.