The simplest discipline is a blank page.
It does not matter if I am journaling, writing creatively, corresponding, tackling a project that shimmers in data and technical work, or writing a blog — the simplest discipline is a blank page.
I make my students do this, push my sons to do so, and push (if you have known Jill for a nanosecond you know I speak of an impossibility here) Jill to pull out an empty piece of watercolor paper; and begin.
Mickey walked me through ten pages echoing his terror — at beginning. He plans his day, outlays when and how much and then languishes as the terror infuses the procrastination with a stymying stoppage of everything. I read his journal and then downloaded it to converse with each paragraph and sometimes each line. I don’t do that grading everyone, and I don’t do therapy, but I could not help but engage his horror at starting, much less following through.
It strikes me, that if we live long enough we will not take anything for granted. Getting out of bed is courageous, more for some folks than others. Walking over and starting — anything — is a gift, if you can do it. Don’t take it for granted that everyone can get up, walk over and start something.
I responded to Mickey, but that doesn’t mean I did anything more than offend him, except to tell him to get help. Real help.
So, the next time that you have an empty sheet and you begin — anything, whisper a small ‘thank you’ that you are doing it without thinking about it so much that the page remains blank.