The Empty Canvas
For me, as a graphic artist, the blank page is the greatest challenge. I deal with different forms of stress at various points in the creative process, and revisions and corrections can overwhelm as deadlines approach or pass by. At the end of the day, a lot of work is a lot of work no matter what your field, and the end of the day may vary with workload. But as long as there's something on that page, as long as that canvas is no longer blank, I have something to work with. I can make a concrete list and prioritize, knowing what to do first and seeing which elements need to be shifted, or which colors need to be adjusted. Getting started is the hardest part of every assignment.
I struggle sometimes, and wonder if that's common among people in my field or if I'm just creatively challenged. Often, a strategy meeting sometimes consists of a group of people telling me, “Here's what we've done; we need something new.” I can never come up with an idea in those moments, not without further thought and research. Give me a reference as a starting point, tell me to do something similar, or to improve on something that exists, and I have a million solutions. Tell me to fill a blank page? I just can't conjure that kind of inspiration.
I guess we all have our strengths and weaknesses. I'm a decent musician, and only need to hear a song a few times before I can play it without reading music. But I'm absolutely incapable of composing a brand new melody. I can play the songs of others; just not my own. Writing doesn't always flow naturally either. There's a lot of surfing, and thinking, and procrastinating before I come up with a topic. I open a document, and stare at a blinking cursor for a long time some nights. Other times, I know what I'm going to write about as I'm driving home from work. And even when I am stumped, once I finally start typing, the words finally pour out. I don't know if it's supposed to get easier or harder after 1,635 consecutive days of posting. Maybe one night I won't think of something to write about. Maybe when my brain is pudding and I have absolutely nothing interesting to write about, nothing will be my topic.
A post about nothing? I'd like to read that...