writing

Making the Content

This, in case you were wondering, is the most frightening image I can conjure.

I’m no fan of snakes and can feel my skin sizzle while my brain fights the urge to run so fast I leave a Wily Coyote-esque hole in the nearest wall when I go into the reptile house at a zoo. But that, that blank page, that gaping maw yearning to be filled, sometimes scares the crap out of me to an extent that even the biggest, creepiest snake would be in awe of.

It’s intimidating, especially when you’ve set a goal for yourself to write every day and, more pragmatically, reach certain traffic goals you’ve established for a website. I want to do things, things that revolve around writing.

So I write. I stare down the maw once more and reach in, hoping to extract something of value, because that’s what the voices tell me to do. I write because my brain is full and the page is empty and the two need to come together. Not everything is golden and not everything will be the Most Insightful Thing On the Internet Today. That’s a high bar to clear.

But, I’ve found, it’s better to close the loop and get the ideas out of my head. Not doing so will cause them to continue to clatter around and distract me as I do nothing but add to them. I have a running list of topics to write on in a Google Doc and, if I were to actually finish them and publish one a day I’d have a new post every day for the rest of the year. And that doesn’t count Movie Marketing Madness or other regularly-scheduled posts. The list is a needle in my side, beckoning my attention and demanding time I just don’t have.

Tonight, I faced down the blank page. Tomorrow I’ll do the same. And the day after that, and the day after that. It’s not a game I can win – there are always new blank pages – but I’ll show up. There’s really no rhyme or reason to it and while I can talk about goals and what I want to achieve and add to the conversation and everything else, it just comes down to this: I’m my best self when I’m writing. That blank page might be intimidating and terrifying, but filling it is also what drives me.

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