The Thrill Of A Blank Page

I still remember being in elementary school when writing creative, imaginative essays was my favorite thing of all times.

I had this colorful writing book full of houses with gardens and simple-shaped birds flying around. With an oversized, happy family standing in front of it and waving. I never really stopped thinking what other detail I could add. I wrote fairytales about foxes, about adventure ways my dad and I took in the forest, about invented languages and myself being a detective, about a weekend with my grandparents, about the life and death of my pet rabbit (sheesh, the last one still makes me cry bitterly when I read it).

Actually, I wanted to become a writer.

Back in school, still utterly convinced about my plan, I remember how I wrote about the roaring tummy of a wolf in one of my stories. And how the teacher criticized, a stomach doesn’t roar, it growls. If I can remember it so distinctively, maybe that was the one moment where my passion started to decrease by just a tiny bit?

Over the course of the years, my path took the same “realistic” directions as anybody else’s around me. There’s no good money to earn with writing. Or music. Or acting. Go learn something proper. And if you then have time, you can pursue childish hobbies.

Eventually, I stopped writing stories. I stopped wanting to become a writer or an actress. I started working not out of passion but rather for my grades, for the best graduation, for university.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m utterly grateful for the way I grew up, and the values my parents taught me.

I guess… all that is part of “growing up”.

But having started this blog 3 months ago, I realize, I’m digging up some long forgotten emotions.

It’s a thrilling feeling.

And yet kind of a scary one.

Seeing this blank page. And the blinking line, waiting, patiently and yet somehow urging, to run across the page and fill, line after line, an endless white space with thoughts and pictures.

This white space could mean anything and nothing, it contains every story ever been told and yet to tell, but hides them behind an impenetrable wall of sheer nothingness. It seems like it is encouraging my fingers to press all these little buttons in a quick, thought-through order. But just as much as this wide space otherwise becomes unbearable to look at.

It evokes curiosity and fantasy, it makes joyful music seeable and incredible journeys tasteable and intense encounters tangible. And despite all the frustration it causes me regularly, despite the repeatedly nagging struggle to find my voice, it is pure joy to see the lines sum up to senteces, paragraphs, moments, years, lifes.

We’re not pursuing for SEO, features, monthly page views.

Not for praise or attention or approval.

But for that child’s genuine smile.

My tummy roars again.

It is passion.

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  • Reply
    November 2, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    You’ve literally put into words everything I’ve ever felt about writing! And how good it felt (and feels now that I’ve rediscovered it) before my parents also told me to pursue something that made more sense in the long run (jokes on them, I ended up studying English Writing and Literature in college).

    I remember when I first realized I wanted to be a writer. It was also one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. I had kept a journal since I can remember, I loved to write about my days and thoughts and feelings. And sometimes my daydreams; I still sometimes read through and I’m not sure if what I’m reading actually happened or if I just wanted it to.

    But when I was about 11 or 12 I became OBSESSED with Harriet the Spy. Have you ever seen that movie? It was about this badass little girl who became a spy and naturally saved the day. So I started writing my own spy novel from the first person POV, in which of course I was the main character, and I was SO darn proud of it. But then my arch nemesis (in reality she was just the girl who sat next to me) found the notebook on my desk at school. And I found her reading it out loud and laughing on the playground at recess. THE HORROR.

    After the initial shock of hearing my fellow classmates laughing at me, I marched up to her and grabbed my journal back, huffed off and cried to my friends. I’ve never been good at snappy responses in the moment. But after calming down I realized that I didn’t care because I loved my stories about being a spy. I loved acting them out and finding random items around my parents house to go in my “spy kit”. So I kept going. Eventually my spy stories were old news, but it always stuck with me: the realization that writing truly brought me joy and almost relief of getting all of these words out of my head.

    This is a long winded way of thanking you so eloquently putting down on paper the way I feel about writing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m so happy I found your blog!

    • Reply
      November 3, 2016 at 4:35 pm

      I’m STUNNED by your massive reply Susan! You really exceled yourself this time. I’m happy you found your path and did study what you were passionate for, and keep writing no matter what. We know what a hassle it can get. I’m admiring you for keeping your dreams high and working your way through what happened the way you described. Oh words, how much joy they bring, how much frustration they can cause…

      I have not seen that particular movie, however, many other shows on German TV as well as good old comic books. Oh I LOVED keeping my spy diary, neatly writing everything down that seemed weird to me or which person I had to be cautious with. I see our stories lining up once more here, haha! Just THANKS!

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