rotina criativa

who’s afraid of the big blank page

stephanie stierli
September 29, 2020

[ leia o texto em português aqui :) ]

Starting something new is never easy. Whether it’s a text, a drawing, a project or anything else in life. I sometimes have a hard time looking at a blank page and starting something. Before writing or drawing I stare at the paper and it feels like the paper is staring me back, challenging me. I can spend hours like this, even days, trying to start something new and I feel an enormous creative’s block. Or, worse, I postpone this moment, because I know it can be difficult and painful. For a long time in my life, due to the fact that I didn’t know where to start, I just didn't.

However, what I’ve learned, is that things only start to flow when I just sit down and force myself to put some form of expression out, no matter what, without judgment. Most of the times, what keeps me from starting, is the necessity of control over the final product or even an anxiety to see the drawing, project or text ready, finished and perfect. The fear of the blank page is an attempt of my unconscious to manage the process. Apparently,  in my self-criticism or self-control blindness, I sought the perfection of the final result from the very beginning. As if, what I’m about to pour out onto the blank page, should come out finished and perfect, without going through the process of creation.

The need of control and the fear of the final result, also applies to our daily lives. How many times have you found yourself wanting to change jobs, move out of your home, or even breakup your relationship? But you’ve stayed, because you were afraid of the future, of the unknown, of the blank page of this new chapter in your life. We end up accepting things as they are, because we don't know how to start something new, or maybe because we have no control over the end result. We cannot be sure or predict with certainty what outcome our choices will create. We are taught from a young age that we have to plan each step of the way, and that we have to know exactly where this specific path will take us. 

However, it doesn’t take into account that life has unforeseen circumstances, that is, it’s not always possible to predict in advance everything that will happen. Let alone count on the fact that we have no control over anything. But gladly, we have control over how we react to these situations. We can be part of the problem or the solution. It all depends on how we perceive the things that surrounds us or on how we deal with them. When you put yourself in the position of the spectator of your life and assume that what happens to you is someone’s “fault” or the consequence of an external factor, it’s the same as giving up control of your life. This can be a comfortable position at first, because the responsibility is not in your hands. However, taking radical responsibility for your actions and choices is extremely liberating. In a way it allows us to gain a new perspective. Recognizing your role in your story allows you to make different, wiser, and even more mature choices.

From the moment I understood that and stopped being the victim in my stories, I made up with traumatic experiences that I’ve lived and found closure in them. I was able to see that many things that had happened to me could be seen in other ways and I could take over the control and start to co-create a more meaningful and fulfilling path to myself. So ask yourself, how many things are you keeping in your life because it was a path that you chose when you were someone else?  I know you’re not the same person, because everyone changes. And during my personal evolution I have grown a lot and I'm not the same person I was 10 years ago. My desires have changed, the way I see the world has changed and I had many ideas along the way that led me to the unknown, to a new path. I could have denied the blank page and remained in the commonplace, in my comfort zone. I could’ve continued to complain about what I was experiencing and what made me unhappy. But thankfully, I faced the new and allowed myself to live something that was way out of my control, and it’s great. And if your choices take you on a tortuous path, no problem, starting over is always possible. And each time you try something new and each failure is always a new experience that you can add to your repertoire.

As Kaju herself always says, if we look at life in a systemic way, where everything is connected, we are able to perceive life more clearly. Everything makes sense. We are not people living life in a compartmentalized way, we bring along our multiple aspects in all our experiences. That's why I like the blank page metaphor, because just like starting an art piece, where there’s always a blank page to begin with; the same thing happens in our lives. Beat your fear of the blank page. Just go, even in fear, go!


This text is part of a series of contents written by the creative and blog contributor Stephanie Stierli. As a storyteller, Stephanie is passionate about studying human behavior, this experience on earth, and creativity. As a "multipotentiality", she’s a filmmaker, a therapist and an artist. As her personal point of view, and how she’s wired, life shouldn’t be limited to a single passion or path. Her curiosity guides her to explore multiple areas. As a critical thinker, her goal is to provoke change and help people to escape the norm and explore new realities. Graduated in Social Communications, with a specialization in Filmmaking, Stephanie has work experience in feature films, series, and advertisement. As a floral therapist, she helps people with their personal self-discovery and living a more balanced life. Nevertheless, art is the way she found to express herself and explore all her potential.

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