A blank page.
Nothing to see. Nothing to write. Nothing to say.
But that’s not true, is it? We all have something to share. A story to tell. Your story is unique. No one has a history quite like yours. No one has the same experiences. Similar maybe, but never the same. Yours is a story worth telling.
But how to do it? Just write. Put down one word after the other and watch as the sentences form. Slowly, but steady. Erase and try again. And again. And again. Until that blank page is filled with paragraphs. It might not be your best writing, but it’s yours. And as you continue to put words on a page, you’ll become better at it. Bit by bit. Day by day. Practice every day. Even when you don’t feel like writing, do it anyway. Don’t wait for the muse to guide your hand. Don’t wait for that exhilarating inspiration. They’re not real. But you are and you can write.
Don’t hide behind writer’s block as an excuse to become stagnant. There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That’s just something that Percy Bysshe Shelley invented as a poor excuse to not being able to perform as a poet. His wife, Mary Shelley, on the other hand, wrote one of the most famous novels in history, Frankenstein. She didn’t wait for the muse. She simply sat down and started writing.
There’s resistance, as Steven Pressfield writes about in his book “The War of Art”. Whatever the project, there’s always going to be resistance. But you can work through that resistance. You just have to keep trying. You just have to persist.
Eventually, you might be able to quiet down that little voice in your head that says “You can’t do this”. It’ll probably never go away entirely, but you can learn to live with it.
When you hear that voice of doubt saying “You’re in over your head”, simply reply that “Unlike you, I know how to swim” and listen as that voice becomes fainter and fainter. Like the ripples of the ocean.
There’s nothing that you cannot do if you put your mind to it. We hear that all the time. It’s a mantra of our generation. You can be whatever you want. But still, we’re stuck in our ways. Still, we wait for someone to give us a chance. Still, we wait for the gatekeepers to let us through. Still, we ask our kids what they want to be when they grow up, expecting an answer like lawyer, firefighter or some other traditional line of work.
When are you going to break free? When are you going to realize that it is your turn? The gatekeepers are long gone and there’s nothing standing in your way, but you. You have to tell yourself to step aside. You have to push through that resistance to be able to create something meaningful. There will be obstacles blocking your path all the time, but you can overcome them all if you just don’t give up.
Regard every obstacle as a way to grow. Think of every problem as something that can be solved. If it still looks daunting, like a great big mountain of things that cannot be done, take it one step at the time. What’s the next little step that you have to take to come closer to a solution? Taking that next little step is doable. Once you’ve taken that step, you take the next one, and the next one. Eventually, you’ll have conquered that mountain that seemed so daunting.
There will always be people who don’t understand what you do. There will always be people who’ll think that you’re crazy. That’s OK. They don’t see what you see, at least not yet. It’s not your job to persuade them, so don’t waste your time trying. Simply by doing your thing, you’re showing them that there is another way. Perhaps that can inspire them to take their turn instead of waiting to be picked.
Start on the path where you want to be going. Don’t let anyone, not even yourself, say that it cannot be done. Just start walking and be confident that you can handle whatever comes in your way.
Don’t wait for someday, start today.