Deborah Armstrong

My Pencil is Sharp But My Page is Blank

Deborah's Diary

I have sharpened pencils, pens in every colour, notebooks aplenty, and a keyboard or two waiting to be used, and yet the page is still blank. It’s not writer’s block. I have plenty of ideas for stories. I have characters yelling at me to get back to work, and I know what I want them to do. The problem is that I’m distracted. There is no shortage of things for me to do. Every day I have a choice, and yet I choose to do anything but write.

Why am I so hesitant to get my next story written?

I think I know why. My plan was to get myself organised. Clean up my office, get year end over and done with, get caught up on my social media, get that basket of laundry ironed. The list went on and on. The truth is that I will never get myself organised to the point where I can take time off to write without feeling guilty.
I shouldn’t feel guilty. Writing shouldn’t be considered a guilty pleasure. Writing is a gift. Having a story to tell and having people who want to read my stories is a gift. I don’t take it for granted; I am in awe of it. When I receive emails or phone calls from readers who want to talk about my stories, I feel honoured. I enjoy answering questions and getting their opinions on my characters. I value their support and encouragement.

What’s the plan?

I’m a member of the local library’s writers’ group. Once a month we get together and read aloud something that we are working on. We give each other suggestions and support. At our last meeting, I read a story I was hesitant to complete. I felt that it may be too dark for my readers. However, the feedback the group gave me was enough to make me want to continue working on it. Will I work on it today? I hope so. I have other things to do, and yet I have marked in my day planner that I will take an hour or two to get some words written. It’s been awhile and I am looking forward to seeing what appears on my blank page.
How about you?

What do you do when the page is blank and you don’t know how to get back to writing?

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