The Blank Space
As writers, we often toil over the blank space in life. In one way, this can be taken literally, as when the cursor on a blank word document stabs at us mockingly with every nonchalant momentary blink. But even more so, we often look deeper into everyday occurrences—we look for the blank space in life, the space that most others may skim through without a second thought. As though it is part of our psyche, we are always probing to find the deeper meaning in the smallest gestures and happenings (a furtive glance between a couple on the subway, or the way the last bits of sunlight radiate across the skyline before fizzling into darkness), and we search for how we can convey the meaning we find through our writing.
Writers are always thinking about writing, even when they aren’t actively or consciously doing so. Whether this is a gift or a curse, I have yet to decide, but it’s reality nonetheless, and a fact that we have to embrace in order to work to our full potential. When you see that couple on the subway and develop a whole back story as to how they came to be in the situation you have found them in, don’t shy away from your minds wandering—you may have just developed the characters for your next piece of writing. And that dazzling picture of a sunset you painted in your mind might be the perfect image that will leave your readers salivating over the beauty of your words.
So, as the diligent observer who believes writing 101 should include a complimentary pair of sunglasses for those occasions you just can’t help but stare, I send you all off into the world—observe, imagine, and create. Literature is about risks and pushing your stories as far as they can go. Embrace this! Find the extraordinary in the mundane, and allow your reader to discover a bit of that elusive blank space we inhabit.