The problem with white space

So I’ve been up now since 3:30 AM listening to the rain and the sounds of Elton John and Styx in my head, toggling between the two as I try flipping over to my left and my right, but still no luck with sleep. Even thinking about my blog post for today and how I’ll start it, and getting stressed about it. Not liking what I started last night. Then of course, work: I’ve managed not to think about it at all for more than a week.

It’s dark now in the mornings which is good, because I can create a moody morning atmosphere when it feels like I’ve got the house to myself, after I’ve fed the cats and the dog and got my coffee. We’re in a passageway between seasons now, feels a bit like the airport with some pent-up expectation in the air.

Chris wanted to be a writer too, which I never knew, and told me he found drafts of sci-fi stories he started when he was cleaning out his mother’s attic, after she died. The problem was that he could never finish anything, he said. 

With all the directions you can go, it’s easy to feel paralyzed and just go nowhere. I over-thought it, which is easier than actually doing it, and more comfortable. There’s a reason I get up before I have to and sit here in a recliner trying to summon something. And when friends comment they’ve been reading it, it makes me feel real.

These are like footprints in the snow I can look back on, that close the distance between. The problem with white space is that there’s so much of it. 

About pinklightsabre

William Pearse publishes memoir, travel journals, poetry and prose, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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16 Responses to The problem with white space

  1. sarahlangdon says:

    Yes, yes, yes! I know the paralyzed feeling! I know the over-thinking! You’ve hit the nail on the head.

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  2. On the flip side – there’s ALL this white space. So much possibility.

    I’ve woken up uncharacteristically optimistic. Give me a few miserable writing sessions and misused potential and I’ll be mocking my positivity.

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    • Optimism’s harder but more satisfying. It’s nice to see you back; I tried to Like and comment on your post yesterday but got thwarted by technology and inexplicable error from cell phone – boring to even write about. What is the update with your eyes? Been waiting for you to resurface.

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      • Thanks for asking – I had a few bad eye days on vacation, but muddled through and was able to redeem the last half of the trip. The longer it goes on, the less I feel defeated by the problem and am learning to take it more in stride.

        Ah, technology – the bane and blessing of modern existence. Glad to be back and in touch, Bill!

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      • pinklightsabre says:

        Yes, glad to be back in touch too Michelle.

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  3. rossmurray1 says:

    Have you read “A Book of Matches” by Nicholson Baker?

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    • pinklightsabre says:

      No but perhaps I should add to my stack? I’ve still got yours on there too; trying to get through the Harry Potter books before my 8 year old laps me on them. Tell me more if you can.

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      • rossmurray1 says:

        I mention it because you remind me of him from time to time. He’s very observational, zooming in on the minutia of life. “Matches,” for instance, is really just a series of meditations by a father waking up every morning in the dark and lighting a fire. “The Mezzanine” is set entirely during a ride up an escalator, which sounds dull but is full of links and connections and buzzings of “aha!” and “hmmm!” and “Oh!” I also really enjoyed “The Anthologist,” which is about poetry, middle age and procrastination. All fairly slim reads. Baker also has three books on the theme of sex and erotica, though I haven’t got to those yet. You’d like him.

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      • pinklightsabre says:

        Fantastic! Thanks for all the info Ross. I appreciate it.

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  4. Breathe more, drink more coffee, read more. Ideas will come as you sit quietly and peacefully in the dark.

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  5. alesiablogs says:

    As always – you are a great read. I am catching up!

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  6. Sitting down and just writing can be like swimming in cold water. It’s better to just dive in.

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