Why Are Some People Intimidated When Confronted by a Blank Sheet?

Some people find blank sheets intimidating because, with nothing yet on the page, they feel their work has no direction to guide them, according to Vanseo Design. Writers and artists sometimes mistakenly think they cannot begin creating until inspiration strikes them. They might become frustrated that it is taking so long for an idea to inspire them, which can in turn make it even harder to feel motivated to begin filling the page.

In reality, it is rare for an individual to feel suddenly inspired to begin working on an idea, notes Vanseo Design. A more effective way to get started is often just to get something down on the page, whether it be by first preparing an outline or simply jotting down some notes.

One way to trick the brain into getting started with a writing task is to skip the introduction or first page, explains Kristal Norton. Oftentimes, writers feel the most pressure to create the perfect beginning to a piece because it is the first thing the audience reads. It can be less stressful to work on the perfect beginning when the rest of the piece is already complete.

Another useful brain trick is to first create something bad on purpose, according to Kristal Norton. Painters, for example, may find the task of beginning a painting daunting because they are so scared of painting something terrible. By giving themselves permission to go ahead and paint something awful, they are sometimes able to get past the fear of doing so.