Have you ever stared at a blank page with the intention of sharing something on your conscious, perhaps something you think could make a difference in another person's life - except you have no idea exactly how to put your thought into words? I have, without question.
Why is a blank page or any blank slate for that matter, so intimidating? I can't answer this question for everyone but I think I know why I struggle to type the very first characters that will ultimately compose the first sentence. As a struggling perfectionist, I'm much more comfortable with the certainty that the blank page offers. I feel the exact same way about a blank canvas and the first page in a brand new sketch book. A blank slate is white and clean. It's a new beginning that offers endless possibilities and promise. The sky is the limit - no, really. With zero letters on the page and nil strokes on the canvas, you're free to choose the direction of your very own creation. For me the toughest part, without question, is getting started - especially when I suspect (or know) that my first sentence or stroke may not quickly translate into the perfectly polished final product that I so desperately desire. I know that the minute I take the leap and begin creating, I could mess up. For me, this fear can be paralyzing and discouraging but each time it happens, I try to remind myself that artists paint layer upon layer to create textural compositions and writers unfold plots and reveal character development throughout each page of the book. As such, the success of a book isn't necessarily determined by the author's first draft. Sure it's great if the first draft is engaging on the first try, but there is room for imperfection in the process of creating and WHEN we simply get started with a big idea, even if we start on the wrong foot (so to speak), the result of our momentum will likely be more intriguing to our creative spirits than the missed opportunity of a blank canvas.
The truth is, I struggle with getting started on ideas everyday. Consider this a note to myself, and you as well. I hope this post encourages you at a time when you find yourself in front of a daunting blank canvas. You can do it. We both can.