Fighting the Blank Page

As an absolute workaholic, my transformation into a complete procrastinator whilst I am trying to write has always bemused me. In the course of writing this one blog post, I have checked my e-mail approximately 150 times, refilled my coffee cup thrice, contemplated flying to the States to give Mr. Trump the swift kick that he has been so ardently asking for, replied to texts that I had no intention of replying to and had a full fledged conversation with Siri on the meaning of life.

Most people procrastinate but it is a more common phenomenon as far as writers are concerned. It is peculiar too because unlike those people who may not like the work they are doing, we writers love our work-we love to write, which is what makes our urge to procrastinate so outlandish.

After much thought (and procrastination), I have reached a conclusion with some help from David Ulin as to why we writers tend to procrastinate: it’s the stress of having to fill up a blank page or a blank Microsoft document-it’s the stress of having to create something from scratch.

“It’s folly, what we do, if you think about it-to make something out of nothing, to spin a story or an argument, to ask a reader to give up his or her time and share with us a fantasy, a dream, a conversation, to seize the moment (for a moment) and try to hold it before it slips away”.

Fighting the glaring blank page.

Hence, instead of putting ourselves through the misery mentioned above, we seek refuge in procrastination and although, non-writers will most definitely find my next comment absolutely bizarre, writers often get inspired whilst procrastinating. It is only when we are cleaning our bookshelves or admiring our vinyl collection that we are greeted by the inspiration we were so desperately looking for.

At the cost of sounding like I am advocating the act of procrastination, we hardly ever find inspiration when we’re looking for it. Inspiration has a way of sneaking up on us and catching us off guard and I guess that’s the beauty of it.


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