“You can fix anything but a blank page.” – Nora Roberts

Source: Daily Post – 4.24.2015 – Daily Writing – Desk Community

A blank page as a writing “problem” to solve – that’s an interesting way to look at it, right?

It is the single most intimidating part of writing, I think. I mean it’s like this. How can I turn this blank screen into a number of paragraphs, that each have something semi-interesting to say? Brainstorming didn’t always seem practical to me in my schooling days. Now that I’ve been adulting for a while, however, I guess I get to avoid blank screens more, so it’s easier. Replying to emails, for example, allows me to quote the original email and even to reply inline, and both of these features of modern text communication are what “seed” most of my actual writing.

I do sort of miss pen-and-paper writing a bit, but not the blank pages. Perhaps I’ll give that another try to make sure I can still do that kind of writing.

Remember pen and paper?
Source: Steve Shoemaker

At any rate, this page isn’t nearly as blank as when I started, so I think I’ve “fixed” it, until the next time, which begins as soon as I click “publish.” 🙂

Now, it’s your turn (can’t let you get away with just reading this, now can I?) How do you conquer the Blank Page Boss? Let’s see some strategies. Post or comment.

Stipula fountain pen
I did an image search for “just write”, and the eleventh image that appeared was the first image in a post on a blog named Just Write.

This image (the image above is not the one I found) features a writing implement that I am fond of: the fountain pen. This immediately reminds me of the times I sought out, and purchased a few very basic fountain pens. For practicality, I chose a pen that was carried-loaded, as I anticipated heavy usage. I was in college, and anticipated copious note-taking.

I remember it was a Sheaffer pen, and I’ve had (and lost) a few since then. I’m very tempted to pick another up now, and perhaps to take better care of it, especially to keep my handwriting muscles in shape from more than just the act of writing my signature.

Of course, should I pick up another fountain pen, I really feel like I’d want a notebook to match, such as one from Moleskine.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Image Search.” and also part of a writing workshop, 10 Days to a Better Blog, over at the Desk community site.

I’ve been prompted to collect my thoughts on expressing my reasons for blogging. I should more accurately state that these are my reasons as well for blogging more often. Hopefully, this is the blogging push that keeps the train on the tracks. So, here’s a rough list of reasons I came up with and it’s subject to change after future review, your mileage may vary, batteries not included, etc.

  • I have these thoughts sometimes, but there’s no audience ready to avail,
  • Some things I’d possibly like to remember, or pass on to another, at some future date,
  • Social networking

I think those reasons are a good start (back) up blogging.

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

– Douglas Adams

I’m participating in an online blogging workshop and this post is day 2. More great posts are available over at the Desk Community.

Software engineers should write

This appeared on my dashboard a few days ago, and I finally got around to taking a peek at it.

Code and essays have a lot more in common. Both begin as a blank slate and an idea, then end as a discrete product for an intended audience.

Good writing skill, much like well structured and commented code increases the value of the person doing the writing and coding as well as making communicating  ideas and software maintenance easier for not only the original, but also future maintainers of a piece of code.

Thinking clearly is such an underrated skill. I also agree that good writing takes time (and some focused effort.) I totally had a particular writer/developer in mind as I read that post.

If you’re a code poet that happens to also write non-code on a regular basis, then that’s a good thing.

Stipula fountain pen

I love it when a blog post not only exactly what it’s title says, but also when the entirety of the information you want to both retain and share at the same time.

pen and paper

If you want a handy list of a few good tips on writing, this will probably be the post to bookmark or add to your favorite clipping service, by Belle Beth Cooper, on :

6 of The Best Pieces of Advice From Successful Writers.

This post’s hit the points well. I’ve seen all the advice noted here scattered around and repeated by quite a few great, prolific bloggers. There’s even an infographic not only referenced, but included inline.

I think 1 through 4 are the ones I need to focus on for myself, but maybe all of them in the long run. Right before I wrapped this post up, I found a post I had saved a while back, by Maria Popova related to writing.

Mary Gordon on the Joy of Notebooks and Writing by Hand as a Creative Catalyst

I’m not sure I’m sold on the “handwriting as the way to start writing” concept, but I might try it to at least keep my writing muscles in good shape. Importantly, there’s quite a few links to even more fairly well-known authors at the end of her article.

The list might not be complete (this I’m fairly certain of). Leave any missing or similarly useful tips in the comments or even write a post of your own.

Photo by Rick Payette on flickr