Facing the Blank Page

At times the blank page represents promise and at other times paralysis. In this TowerTalk, Nicole Mazzarella delves into habits of thinking that prepare one to face the blank page, whether one is writing a novel or a business proposal.

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Discussion Questions

  1. What is a writing project that you're avoiding or struggling to complete? What do imagine as the most critical response? How might you reply to those critics in your mind who stall the process?
  2. In what ways do you recognize the fears that were discussed influencing your process?
  3. Remember a time in a writing project when ideas seemed to flow. Describe what surrounded that time: what were you reading, what other ways did you approach the topic, what amount of space existed for musing, how much writing did you do each day, what type of feedback or support did you receive, what deadlines did you face, etc.? What would it look like to cultivate a similar space around your current writing project?
  4. What thinking stalls your writing?


Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Calhoun

The Soul Tells a Story by Vinita Hampton Wright

Hayles, N. Katherine. "Hyper and Deep Attention: The Generational Divide in Cognitive Modes." Profession 189 (2007): 187-199. Print.

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Mystery and Manners by Flannery O'Connor

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