There are few things as intimidating for a writer as the blinking cursor on a blank page. Yet, it is at this moment that the writing that is yet to come seems to carry the most possibilities—before you’ve even begun typing. The piece has no direction, no idea to support, and no boundary lines limiting what is to come. There is total freedom and endless possibilities in this moment just before the creating actually begins. That might be why it is so scary to start writing. With each word that you write, you narrow in more and more on what you can say. With the first sentence, you’ve presented a direction for the piece and have drawn invisible boundaries for what you can say next. There is something really beautiful about the freedom that the blinking cursor represents for a creative mind, and yet, if we allow that cursor to keep blinking and choose not to write out of the fear of creating something less than perfect, nothing beautiful will ever get created at all. As creatives, we cannot stay in the place of the blinking cursor for long. We have to choose to just. start. writing. We have to learn to lean into the process and appreciate whatever product comes from it, no matter how imperfect it might be.
I wonder if this might apply to life outside of our art too. What does a “blinking cursor moment” look like in our day-to-day? Perhaps you are being challenged to pick a college or are trying to determine if the person you are with is the one you want to marry. Maybe you are debating between renting or buying a house. Maybe you are unsure of your next career move. It could be anything. Think about an area in your life that you are hesitating to make a decision, take action, or move forward. How often are we inactive simply because of our own fear? How often do we neglect to make a choice that moves us forward because we are afraid that choice might be the wrong one, or will have unexpected consequences, or will lock us into a path we don’t want to be on? This ought to lead us to ask ourselves the question: how long are we willing to stare at the blinking cursor?