This is the page that every WordPress blogger faces when it’s time for a new post. Well usually there’s more light but it’s been raining in Southern California, an anomaly that sends the people running indoors. We don’t know what to do, the sun has disappeared. It’s not December 12 yet, it can’t be the end!
But I digress. This is the “new blank page.” It’s just not as romantic as the notion of a typewriter with an actual blank page sitting in it, staring, taunting, waiting for the writer to strike the keys and produce something new and exciting in bold black and white. For a hundred years writers stared at that. Although differing reports, one such entry in Wikipedia lists the typewriter as being invented by Italian Pellegrino Turri in 1801 for his blind lover Countess Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzono. He also invented carbon paper which seems like a cruel joke because she would get black stuff all over fingers, then wipe it on her face and not know it. Unfortunately he didn’t invent Pellegrino water which she could have used to get the stains out. That was already discovered in San Pellegrino and already being drunk.
So writers have been staring at a typewriter before there was even electricity, the candlelight casting shadows that probably formed faces in the writer’s tired brain telling her how much talent she did not have and telling her to stop trying to be a writer and go get married. No one wants to read your depressing poetry.
But what of the ones that could not afford this new invention. From my school years, I remember reading about Abraham Lincoln, studying and learning by candlelight, his pen and quill staring at him while he re-worked what would become the Gettysburg address long before he even gave that speech and it was just called “This Is Probably How Things Should Go Down.”
And what of the great philosophers in History hundreds of years before that, staring at their blank stone and chisel waiting to carve out some really great, simple sayings like “What concerns me is not the way things are, but rather the way people think things are.” Epictetus etched that in stone somewhere between 55 and 135 AD and still people don’t put that to use as evidenced by this year’s biggest news items. But nobody’s really that big on the Ten Commandments either so hopefully he’s not lamenting that in Heaven.
So what does it matter? What does it matter if I leave it blank today? With our modern computers, my frustration at the blank page is quickly aborted with a new tab showing the number one downloaded video of Gangnam Style and I can learn a new dance. Or go look at cat pictures on Facebook. Is my blog really having any impact, either humorous or inspirational or is it simply Blah Blah Blah instead of Blogging.
I don’t know, but I do know that I have learned over the past three years that I love to write and I want to continue. It brings me so much joy that it has to be coming from a good place. So I will stare at this computer screen until I come up with something. I’ll get back to you.