Blank Canvas

There it is, right in front of you: pristine and untouched. You have an idea in your head of what you’re going to do on this canvas, and it’s still perfect, but you know the second you make that first brushstroke or pen mark- it’s tainted. You irrevocably enter into the struggle of matching your idea with what’s happening on that canvas, and the further you go, the more what’s happening on that canvas starts to exist in its own right. Your perfect idea is no longer immaculate, it now has to contend with reality for better or for worse. It’s an incredible risk, a terrible feeling, and there’s no way out of it.

I took a break from blogging because, well, life got in the way. But I would be lying to myself if that was the only thing that got in the way. Besides not having enough time to dedicate to writing and drawing, I didn’t have (don’t have) that many people engaging with my work. It started to feel like I was speaking to an empty room. To add salt to the wound, every time I read what I wrote, and sometimes while I was writing, I thought it could be better, that it wasn’t living up to the idea I had in my head.

When I started to consider getting back into blogging I was happy to find out that I wasn’t alone in my struggles. Striving for perfection is a common cause of writer’s block and stops many people from writing at all. Also, growing a following, connecting with people, finding your voice and improving your skills takes time and it’s easy to get discouraged in the process. Many bloggers run into the same problems, and fortunately there is help out there. How to relaunch your blog by problogger is one example that was a great help to me.

But there was also another reason I decided to step back into the arena. If it’s true that staring at a blank canvas can be a terrible feeling, it’s also true that you wouldn’t be there in the first place without having an idea you thought worth pursing. Turns out I still have a lot to say, do, and experiment with that I’m excited about. So, as daunting as it is to stand again in front of that blank canvas with my ideas in mind, wondering whether I should just walk away, it seems a far greater loss to give up than to fail trying. It’s also true that just simply trusting the process and working through your challenges can take you to new places you hadn’t imagined possible before.

Above all, I’m comforted by the fact that many artists, writers and brilliant minds before me faced the same challenges and did it anyway.

Cheers to getting out of my own way and trusting the process!

10 Comments

  1. Good to see you back! I think we all take a break from continuous blogging from time to time, and you’ve given the two main reasons …… writers block and a lack of engagement. I’ve suffered from the latter a few times but never the former, always got something to say I suppose! A lack of engagement can be soul destroying, you pour your heart and souls into something, get 25 “likes” and not a single comment. But …… I’ve gone through that now and say to myself that I’m writing for “me” because I enjoy the writing itself. This has spurred me on writing my two books this year, An Englishman In Nepal and Its Not About The Wine, I may not sell more than a couple of copies but that isn’t why I wrote them. It’s a bit like all the mountaineering I did, I did it to achieve the summit of something especially in Nepal, NOT for fame and fortune. Of course it’s different if you’re trying to earn money or attract clients, because in that case it’s not about blogging and maybe a website is better than a blog? But on WordPress you can do both. Anyway, I look forward to seeing you fill in that blank canvas 👍👍🍷🍇

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to be back Dr. B! My “writers block” was more from a sense of not being good rather than a lack of ideas, so to overcome that I’m trying to tell myself it’s good ENOUGH. (The YouTube channel “School of Life” run by the modern philosopher Alain de Button helped me realise that). I agree about writing for “me”, I suppose if you don’t start from a place of passion, curiosity and desire to say something when you write, why should anyone read it? Being creative and earning money is a difficult one! I’ll being writing about that very soon. I’m so pleased you’re now publishing your second book. You have certainly accomplished quite a lot in your life, it’s admirable. Off to fill in that canvas!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Buddha Walks Into A Wine Bar …. and commented:
    How wine inspired our blogs
    How wine inspired our blogs rejuvenation

    There are times when we all move away from, suspend or completely abandon our blog. It’s happened to all of us whether through personal reasons, writers block or a lack of engagement from followers. I’ve written about this before with the latter reason being the cause when I abandoned for about 6 months. Lately however I have merely suspended blogging activity for a while because I had completely immersed myself in writing two books. The first of these, An Englishman In Nepal, was published in August and you can view the Amazon page by clicking the title link or image in the sidebar to this blog. The second book, It’s Not About The Wine, will be published on November 30th and you can also view the Amazon page from the title link or the sidebar image. I was helped considerably in creating the wine book by Danell Nelson, my sommelier blogging friend in Italy who blogs at Vinthropology and is also restarting the posting of her fantastic wine related art. Danell has also gone through a personal “suspension” phase and will shortly be writing about her art and Wine Club activity again. Her new post is here, Blank Canvas, so do take a peek and admire her previous artwork and wine posts ……..

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I was beginning to think yesterday that it would never be published as a paperback. The image settings for the cover took hours until I remembered GIMP an image editor I used to use on our Linux based laptops. You might like to look at it, open source and free. Then there was the issue of photos and number of pages which had me earning only 11p per copy unless I charged an extortionate amount of money for it. But ……. better news later ….. I hope, then I’m going for a lie down in a dark room 😂🍷

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve been on pins and needles waiting to hear back about the images I sent with the adjusted dpi. Did they work better? I’m definitely going to look into downloading some software on my desktop and probably doing a course. Thank you for your patience. Nearly there!

        Liked by 1 person

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