“My oldest friend, my fiercest foe”

This is how singer/songwriter Harry Chapin described music, and how I feel about the blank page.

The blank page at once frightens me and also exhilarates every nerve and neuron. I get a rush of euphoria. I feel the weight of dread.

Each blank page provides so much possibility…for relief, for adventure, and for disappointment or failure.


The blank page is the ocean.

You can ride upon it, dive in, go under and drown in it. You can swim for days, get lost, find an island, and be eaten alive.

Ah, but you know this.

Exhibit A:

This is a bin full of pages that once were blank, it’s now full of memories, ideas, ramblings, stories, and essays. Many of the words from these pages have slipped into the ether. Some of these words have moved from my home to yours, some have been transformed onto pages of print, and some have even won awards. Many pages are beginnings, scraps, ideas that came and have yet to be fulfilled.

Exhibit B:

This bin is full of pages that were once blank. Now the pages are full of ideas, passion, and drafts of a story that is still in wait to be shared. So many pages, writes, rewrites, and yet there is much more to do before this bin becomes more than just files under a desk.


Most Importantly, Exhibit C:

This, my friends, this is what you must remember most of all, this shelf: all of these books began the same way – a blank page. Where every story begins.