Blank pages frighten most writers, me included.
I’ve often thought that one reason I took to blogging so well after “upgrading” my process from writing HTML pages in Notepad to using MoveableType was because the page wasn’t quite so blank and much smaller than the average text file. I found it easier to fill in a little, tiny bit of screen instead of that “endless page” in WordPerfect, which is what I used back then to write.
And, I’ll be honest, I’ve never been good at giving myself writing quotas. When I wasn’t thinking about it, I blogged virtually every day. At the time, it just seemed natural to me. I had a lot to say, I guess! But, I never thought about it being a quota. Now, of course, that I’d like to be more serious, more intentional, about my writing, I do think of quotas. It is, after all, what most professional writers, or even very serious amateurs, all say they do to keep things moving on a regular basis. Inspiration, they tell us, comes to those who are sitting in front of that typewriter, or computer, every day, grinding out their quota. The latest of those writers I’ve read was Anne Lamott in her excellent writing instructional book Bird By Bird, who advises hopeful writers to set a daily goal, whether it be 300 words or just one page, and stick to it.
Well, now there’s help. Help, of course, in the form of an on-line app called One Page Per Day.
The premise is simple; “What if you wrote one page each day?” the site asks us. What if? This free tool asks you to find out. You sign in with your Google or Twitter account and will be presented with a single, blank page to fill. After that, you will be presented with a “gentle reminder” every day to complete your daily, one-page quota. Rinse, repeat. Until, eventually, you have your book, or story or article or whatever you’re trying to get written. Simple, clean, elegant.
Only you can decide if it will be effective.