Fear of the Blank Page

Be Sure You Come And Read This From Erica!!!!

Erica Goss

The blank page. A rectangle of absence, it fills the writer with equal parts expectation and dread. A stark reminder of the writer’s apartness, it demands that you pay attention to it and not your family, dogs, messy house, or whatever else might distract you.

We could compare the fear of the blank page to the fear of commitment, but it’s more complicated than that. The blank page equals a terrible silence. It shows you the part of you that’s not writing. No wonder its presence causes writers such turmoil.

In “The Poet’s View,” a 2008 documentary featuring John Ashbery, Louise Glück, Anthony Hecht, Kay Ryan, and W.S. Merwin, the poets share their methods for writing poems. Ashbery types drafts on an electric typewriter as does Glück; Hecht writes longhand and doesn’t own a computer. Ryan also writes her first drafts on yellow legal pads. Hecht and Ryan describe the…

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