“If the language is percise, the sentence will not (in theory) seem self-concious, or overworked. At some point in my writing life I realized tha tpercision can be a kind of poertry, and the more percise you try to be, or I try to be, the more simply and correctly responsive to what the world looks like—then the better by chances of creating a deeper and more beautiful language.”—Don DeLillo
Let’s begin with what’s terrifying about the blank page: it holds all of our ideas and none of our ideas at the same time. When we look at that beautiful white expanse, we see possibilities. We imagine a work of art.
Yet when we sit down to write, our hands turn to cement and the words come out ugly and lethargic and lazy and we are mortified. So we put down our pens, or we stop typing, and we push ourselves away from the desk thinking, “Next time. It has to be better next time.”
But all the while we’re haunted by this fear that perhaps it won’t. Perhaps next time will be just as bad as this time and we will be what we have feared all along - “failures” and “wannabes”.
Here is the cruel irony of the blank page: While it lures us with its pristine landscape, we must first cover it with mud. There is simply no other way to write. It is a brutal act of faith. In writing, we must unleash a mess onto the page and then reach inward and grab hold of every last thread of trust, believing without sight that: “It will be beautiful. You’ll see. Just don’t walk away.”