The fear of the blank page

Post written by Orsolya Hernold

Even if I have a great topic to write about, many times it is hard to start. I stare at the blank page and the first sentence is just not coming. I had the similar feeling when I was given assignments by my yoga teacher – what can I write? How to start? I have only fragments of thoughts, there is no sound sentence or coherence in my thinking I can put to words. Do you ever feel the same? You want to write, but it is just not happening.

I would like to give you some suggestions on how to cope with this inertia, the fear of the blank page.

Make the space – physically

I have experimented with several spots in the house when I started to write this blog. It was winter, so it needed to be warm enough, I needed comfortable seating and a place to put my notebook. It is good to have some space for notes, books I use while I write. I have my cup of tea nearby and maybe some snacks. Find that space for yourself!

Make the space – mentally

I am not able to concentrate on writing while I have my to-do-list spinning in my head. I am committed to writing, that is my first priority at this moment – but still my duties obtrude and take up my mental space. So I heed some time to them, write my lists and then turn back to writing. Give some time to your mental busyness to ease your way toward a more concentrated type of work.

Mind watch

There is still that blank page. You are sitting comfortable, everything you need is there, but words are not coming. Try to sit, close your eyes and be still for a couple of minutes. Watch your mind. Be the observer. What is going on? What thoughts are coming? Can you capture any? Can you remember them when you open your eyes? Can you write them down?

Do not see it as a blank page

Imagine this page to be somebody there to help you. Is it your friend? Or your teacher? It can be your mentor, your coach, your mother, your father, your sibling or your partner – anybody to whom you turn with trust and who gives you attention and support. What would you say? Can you write down what you would tell this person? The page is there to help and support you by reflecting your own thoughts. Just like a good friend.


There are times when writing is not coming even if you prepare yourself for it. Then leave and do something else. That is fine. Do not ever force yourself.



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