The Blank Page

I’m a writer, but I’m also a homemaker, volunteer, and for a few weeks, a caregiver. Like you, I have meals to cook, laundry to fold, a vacuum cleaner that needs to be given a little exercise now and then.

For the past two weeks I’ve added caregiving for a family member recovering from surgery who can’t put weight on one leg. It’s like four o’clock feedings when the kids were babies…only this time it’s pill-giving and the rest of the time it’s mostly fetching and carrying…nothing too bad.

When I can, I zip into my little home-made office that was once a linen closet and face the blank page. Words don’t write themselves, but it takes energy and I’m out of it.

Many of you have faced this problem…you’re quilters or knitters or creative cooks. You make jewelry or sew or you love to play the piano. You do it after your workday has ended, whether you are home or in an office or school or restaurant. First you see to the needs of your family…your kids, your furry companions, or maybe your parents or a sibling. Then you hope for some you time.

And you discover you’d rather put your feet up, relax, get caught up on your favorite show, and maybe have a glass of wine.

I stare at my blank page at five or six o’clock in the morning. I’m one of those people whose brain is alive and well when I first get up and I’m fuzzy and dragging by three in the afternoon. If nothing is coming, I turn to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads…all the places I like to visit on the computer.

When an hour has gone by, I force myself back to my blank page. I wonder if there’s any cheesecake left? Maybe I’ll go downstairs and see. It goes with coffee, right?

Blank page is still waiting. But I’m a pantser, that means at some point I will just start tapping and words will appear and 50,000 words later I’ll have something I can edit and make into a real book with flawed characters, obstacles to overcome, love, and a happy ending.

For now, I think I’ll go back to Facebook and see who’s posting, or check the Twitter feed for words of wisdom. Or maybe I’ll pick up someone else’s book and read, knowing there was a time when they faced a blank page.

And filled it.

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