Blank Page Syndrome – it really is a syndrome – and a scary one at that. If you are a writer, I can guarantee that you have been struck with it at one time or another.
You can suffer through it until you get a breakthrough or you can take some medicine to cure it.
Causes of Blank Page Syndrome
No. 1 – No fun, no passion – You’ve lost that spark that got you excited in your story. The writing has become humdrum, the characters dull, and you’ve edited it so much that you can’t stand the story any longer
No. 2 – Perfectionism – it’s probably what’s caused No. 1 (No fun, no passion). Forget about editing every little detail. What I like to do is make my comments in the comment boxes and let them stew for a while. By all means, re-work areas that you’ve decided to change – but remember that a first draft is your chance to get your thoughts and ideas down. Don’t sweat every little detail
No. 3 – Burned Out – You’ve gone at with such gusto, that you’ve burned yourself out. Writing a novel takes time and effort.
Remedy for Blank Page Syndrome
No. 1 – Pilfer – Steal a great line from a novel you’ve read and write it down to start your thought processes off. Trust me when I say you will not be plagiarizing simply because that line will not stay the way you’ve written it down – not for long, anyway. As your creative writing juices start to run, you’ll realize why that line worked for its own author and how it needs to change for you. So go for it – write it down and let the magic begin
No. 2 – Pretend – Act out your story in your mind. Become the heroine and play-act her problems in order to solve them. Role playing is not just for video games and nerds. Try it – you’ll like it and before you know it – Blank Page Syndrome will be vanquished
No. 3 – Write – Anything you like. Try a poem or a song or even a limerick, but base it on the story you are writing. Sometimes a change of writing can help kick-start that blankness in your head.
No. 4 – Brainstorm – this is my favorite remedy. If you belong to a great critiquing group, they can be a help like no other. They probably know your story as well as you and can give you stupendous ideas of where the plot should go. Use them as a fail-safe remedy.
What’s your remedy for Blank Page Syndrome?