A Japanese fable tells of a famous artist who one day, in the middle of winter, disappeared into the mountains. No one could find him. When the spring thaw came they found his body in a cave in the mountains. Attached to him was a note.
It read, “I was afraid of the blank page.”
Creativity is by its very nature a subversive act. You are in control of the medium of your creativity.
As a writer, the blank page of a notebook, the vacant, empty lines, or the flashing cursor of a new document on the computer can be terrifying as I pause in that moment before committing the first words.
I choose to subvert the emptiness of the page and make it my servant.
Try this: take a blank piece of paper and a pen. Set them before you. Pick up the pen and deface the page by scribbling on it.
Go on, scribble.
Make thick bold lines or tentative thin lines. Make circles and spirals or labyrinthine mazes of perpendicular lines.
Take another piece of paper.
Write a note to someone.
Make a shopping list.
Expound a political polemic.
Write a love letter, a question, an epithet, a declaration.
Draw a random sketch of the object sitting in front of you.
Subvert the paper because you choose to use it for your own purpose and are not afraid of the emptiness.
With a single line you create and you subvert.
Colour the page with a black marker or different coloured highlighters.
Fold it into an aeroplane, a boat, a hat, or a bird.
Scrunch it into a ball and throw it across the room or into the bin.
Create because it is an inherent part of who you are. Create because it gives you a voice. Create because it challenges you. Create because it brings you peace. Create because it is good for you. Create because you can give it away to someone else to enjoy.
Go and be subversive.