Friday, September 23, 2022

The Blank Page - Guest post with D.L. Wood

The blank page. For some writers it holds a bounty of promise and excitement that fills their souls to the brim. Potential lays before them, a treasure trove to be mined. They dive into their keyboards, barely able to contain their joy.  

For other writers, myself among them, the blank page can be terrifying. I think much of it stems from the fact that it represents such unrestricted freedom. An invitation to go anywhere, to tell any story. How do you choose? And once you do, will your words be worth reading? There is so much unknown staring blankly (pun intended) back at you, waiting for your hand to work upon it and create something wonderful out of nothing. For me, the proposition can be daunting.

Interestingly, I think this carries over into my everyday life as well. Can you relate? I don’t know about you, but I can’t even shop in stores with too many choices. It’s too overwhelming. I prefer some choice, but not unlimited ones. So, of course, I would choose a career (writing) that is all about choices. Choices about characters, setting, plot, arcs, covers, titles…the list is endless.  

And now, on top of that, I find myself in a new empty-nest season of life which also necessarily involves a lot of changes and choices. A new “blank page of life,” if you will, that I must begin to write upon—a prospect that is more than a little bit scary.

 I’m sure I’m not alone in these feelings, whether you relate as a writer, or as a person who simply struggles generally with change and choosing next steps. The unknown can be hard.

Why does the open road of possibility vex some of us so? For me, I think my tendency to struggle in this area is grounded in the difficulty I have fully trusting. Fully and completely trusting and resting in God’s plan, not only for my work, but for my life. It’s easy to get twisted up in all the choices, all the worries, all the what ifs.

 The thing is, this shouldn’t be hard. Time and time again I have watched Him work out the details of my life. I should know better. But, well, I’m human. And a bit of a perfectionist and planner. So…you know…I suppose I come by it naturally.

What I hope, my prayer, is that as I grow into this next stage and develop the next book, I can more fully rest in His plan. That I can pray about the choices before me—whether they concern a blank page or a new life routine—and confidently leave them with the Lord. That I can then dive in and be joyous about the possibilities, not apprehensive. I’d love to be able to see the blank page in all its forms as a friend to greet, not an enemy to fear.

What unknowns do you struggle with? Are you ever in turmoil over new choices before you? If so, what promises of God do you lean on to find peace in those times? I’d love to know what speaks to your heart.


D.L. Wood is a USA TODAY bestselling author who writes thrilling suspense laced with romance and faith. In her novels she tries to give readers the same thing she wants: a “can’t-put-it-down-stay-up-till-3am” character-driven story, full of heart, believability, and adrenaline. Her award-winning books offer clean, captivating fiction that entertains and uplifts. She lives in North Alabama, where, if she isn’t writing, you’ll probably catch her curled up with a cup of Earl Grey and her Westies—Frodo and Dobby—bingeing on the latest BBC detective series. If you have one to recommend, please email her immediately, because she’s nearly exhausted the ones she knows about. She loves to hear from readers, and you can reach her at


  1. DL, you had me at Earl Grey and British detective series. The last one that blew me away was "Broadchurch" with David Tennant. A brooding David Tennant with baggage, which is the best kind.
    I can't totally relate to your first-page jitters because I "think" out my books before I begin writing, so I have an opening. It's not necessarily a good opening, but I open. I CAN relate to the overall jitters of starting a new book. It is such an adventure and can take us anywhere. But you are right, we need to seek God's will for every step. Or every word.
    It is a chilly and windy day here in New Hampshire, more like October than September. Having company for afternoon tea, hope we don't get blown away. Enjoying a lull "between" books, but always working behind the scenes, doing research and some character profiles, mulling plot lines and conflict, shaping this fragile mass of clay into something someone might actually want to read.
    May be back later,
    Kathy Bailey
    "Kaybee" to the world

  2. I am a terrible decision maker and have always been (ask my parents), so a blank page is very intimidating to me as well. Should my character be this or that, should my setting be here or there, should they do this or that?!? It's exhausting. And in real life when it's too much, I usually just walk away and let someone else decide (which is not my best personality trait). As the author, we don't have the option to walk away. Your post really resonates with me. Thank you so much for your thoughts and the reminder that God comes through every time!

  3. Welcome to Seekerville, DL!
    The blank page is when my procrastination tendencies kick in. I'll plot, create characters, draw maps, fiddle with my characters' genealogies...all to avoid writing that first sentence. But since it has to be done, I do it.
    I try to do the same in my personal life, but I'm not always as successful!

    Thanks for being here! I'm a British mystery junkie, too, and my cup of Earl Grey is right beside me. :-)

  4. Welcome to Seekerville, DL! As someone who tends to be very indecisive, I can totally relate. Even in writing. Should I do this or that or maybe this other thing. And don't even get me started on the never-ending dilemma of what to fix for dinner.


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