The Blank Page


Mel Brooks, the writer and comedian, once told a true story about his wife, the late actress Anne Bancroft, who came home one day from a film shoot complaining how difficult it was to act. After she ranted and raved for what seemed like hours, he put a blank piece of paper and pencil in front of her and said, “So you think acting is hard? That’s how hard writing is.”

Scripting one’s thoughts is most difficult when one has a problem either articulating what is being thought or has nothing to say. Whatever the case may be, its important to focus and have trust that inspiration emanating from one’s experience will emerge and be enough to pierce the confusion created by the clutter of life’s noise, a distraction so endemic that it becomes invisible and makes it difficult to tap into a creative flow.

Most of the time, inspiration does not follow a perceptible pattern. This can lead to a period of doubt and ambivalence that implies a lack of self confidence that can become infectious as it brings panic, procrastination   and paralysis that lead to the misguided conclusion that one has become out of touch with the creative pulse and therefore has been self delusional about one’s own talent.

The challenge is to understand the rhythm that works best for them and develop a disciplined approach to whatever conditions one is surrounded by.  Being optimistic helps as one’s hope for an epiphany to suddenly appear, actually happens, while sitting in front of an empty page congested with thoughts while the pencil becomes as heavy as Thor’s hammer. Although these days one rarely uses a pencil or pen to write anything, preferring instead to use the computer keyboard.

Over time, experience will keep things in perspective by helping one comprehend the spiral nature of creation, defining it as the continuity of the ebb and flow needed to awaken inspiration and affirm the belief that no matter how chaotic the situation may appear, one can reach the blank page etched with just two words, either The Beginning or The End.