Thursday, December 31, 2020

The Blank Page by Liz Flaherty #RomanceGems


I couldn't think of anything to say. When I opened this page to write my post, I still couldn't. Although 2020 has been comparatively easy for me, I am ready for it to be over. But then I really looked at the screen. 

And thought how lucky I am.

Because there it is waiting for me, the greatest gift a writer can have. 

The blank page.

It can be horrifying, of course, when you can't think of a publishable word to put on it. Can I have a show of hands from everyone this has happened to? Oh, forget that--there is a sea of hands out there. How about a show of hands from everyone it hasn't happened to? Yep, there are a few. I envy you, but I don't have a problem with envy. It makes you keep trying.

However, the blank page can also be so exciting. It's how every single story you've written started. Especially if you're a pantser, because then it's just one piece at a time until the puzzle is...less puzzling. It's on that blank page that your favorite hero of all time introduces himself, the heroine ends up being a short blond instead of a statuesque redhead, and the setting is a town called...what? Peacock? Really?

Blank pages make me remember--and I know I'm dating myself here--new notebooks when I was a kid. Unopened packages of lined paper and crisp folders and Bic pens with clear barrels. I always got them for Christmas. If I ever wondered why I so often start new stories after the holidays, that memory is a reminder. All those blank pages and smooth ink and pocket folders that ended up containing so much of my heart.

I ended 2020, writing-wise, by publishing Window Over the Sink, a compilation of columns of the same name, and submitting Life's Too Short for White Walls, my latest completed manuscript. The one I expected to sell to Harlequin and didn't, that made me trip and stumble and try to decide if I should retire. 

But I can't, you know, because there are too many blank pages out there. Waiting. 

Happy 2021. I hope it's a wonderful year full of blank pages.

14 comments:

  1. Thanks for this reminder...I needed it. ;-)

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  2. Great post!! I've never actually had a blank page stare at me because I have a muse on steroids. There are so many stories whizzing through my head, sometimes it's hard to focus on the one I need to write.
    I love the white walls comment. Personally I don't like a house where the walls are all white. Too boring. Unfortunately I'm in an apartment now and I have no choice. Good luck in all your writing in 2021!!

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    1. I envy that. I'd written for several years before I realized that while I had the voice and the desire, ideas escaped me. So when I get one, I like to run with it!

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  3. Please keep filling those blank pages, Liz, and I'll read every word! Love this! Best to you in the new year!

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  4. Wonderful as always. Those blank pages are an irrestible challenge for most of us.

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  5. Blank pages are so pretty! I love them, too. I'm so glad you keep filling them!

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    1. Oh, they are pretty. I even change my paper color when I work. Each manuscript will be written on a different color.

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  6. I think back to the blank pages I've filled when I get stuck writing and tell myself, you can do it again. They can be daunting or exciting. Here's to more excitement.

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    1. That's a great motto, isn't it? "You can do it again." Thanks, Nora!

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  7. The blank page. That's what today, the first day of 2021, is. The year will be filled by each of us in many different ways. If you didn't sell that book to Harlequin, I hope you plan to publish it yourself. I'm in line to buy it if only because of the title.

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