Tuesday, October 9, 2012


By Maria C. Ferrer

The scariest thing I’ve ever faced is the blank page.

It doesn’t matter how many “what if” scenarios are running through my head, how eager I am to get the story outline down on paper, sometimes just looking at that span of white paralyzes me. The lines run across the page taunting me, daring me to dirty them with ink, and so my pen hovers, scared to mar that glaring perfection.

But I do, and the relief is awesome. Fear has been conquered. Procrastination has been postponed. Creativity has triumphed. It doesn’t always happen easily or effortlessly, but it does happen.

I fill line after line of that blank page with my outline, my characters, my plots. I am mistress now. I rule. I even go so far as to cross things out on that prim canvas, and have been known to add arrows here and there, write sideways and squeeze in more words between the lines. I feel powerful. I am a Writer, with a capital W.

But I don’t get too cocky, because there is always another blank page to face tomorrow. And maybe that time I won’t triumph. I’ve been known to stare at a blank page for hours, if not days. It’s frightening when the creative well is dry. I can’t sit still; I blast my music; and I run my hands through my hair until even my loved ones run from me; and still nothing springs forth but fears and frustration.

What is a writer to do?!

Well, I take a deep breath. I doodle on the page. (If I can’t give it words, maybe flowers and stars will satisfy.) But I keep going back to that blank canvas, until my hovering pen finally makes a landing, and it’s my ideas, my characters that are running across the lines once again.

I can’t let fear of that blank page cripple me; otherwise, I’d never write a thing. So with determination and courage I persevere, and ready my thoughts and my pens to conquer again. ♥

Maria C. Ferrer writes contemporary romances under her real name, and erotica under the name of Del Carmen. She has sold erotica stories to Cleis Press and Ravenous Romance; and, her short fiction has appeared in Star, Penthouse and Cosmopolitan for Latinas magazines. Visit her at www.mydelcarmen.com, and follow her on twitter @mydelcarmen.


  1. Staring at the blank page or computer screen (I avoid writing longhand) is step one and should be commended. Sooner or later a sentence or more will magically appear.
    Great post, Maria. You creativity shines through.


  2. It seems the blank page is the one thing about the process that does not intimidate me! Instead, I am frustrated that I itch to write but cannnot find the time. Trying to juggle personal resonsibilities, and the fear that I'm losing writing time & not able to produce as fast as I would like, is what scares me. The thought of days looming before me without a single moment to write! Congrats Maria for conquering your fear, forging ahead and not letting anything stop you! That's the path to greatness.

  3. Thanks for this post Maria. I come across this way too much and you are right it is a day to day thing. I can have a great one and then wham--- nothing. Just blank and frustration which I'm having as I type this. But my page is open and if I think if just one word as I pace I run and type it. Taking those small victories.

  4. One of the ultimate writing fears, Maria! I'm kind of a cross between you and Lise. I dread not having the time to get all the writing in I want to get done. But when the moment to write is upon me, I find myself procrastinating to avoid facing that blank page and all the "what if I can't find the words this time" questions. Only thing that gets me through is the belief in the shitty first draft philosophy and bribing myself by saying I only have to write a single sentence and then I can call it a day. Once that first sentence is down, I'm usually away. It's just getting the first few words!