On the second floor, Marin was staring at the screen, two inches away from it, trying to finish a poster. The office was empty. Just me and my blank page. Rarely, a muse sits down on my shy title: “When grass does not grow on Mondays”. She sniffs the title few times, turns around and leaves laughing.
Foursquare notifies me that my girlfriend and two of her friends are at a coffee shop. Facebook keeps flooding me with pictures of people having fun. I throw away the phone and start staring at the blank page. The mouse pointer starts to annoy me with its rhythm. I get up, grab my cigarette pack, pour myself a huge cup of coffee and step out on the balcony.
I’m puffing my second cigarette. I’ve managed to write down three ideas in my notebook, erased them and wrote them back up again. I look at the laptop and see the blank document waiting for me on the screen. I feel the blank page mocking me: “You have no ideas, you have no ideas!”.
I’m drawing flowers on the whiteboard.
I stumble upon a marketing magazine on the book rack. On the cover, a gentleman invites me to shake his hand and start a real business together. “Do you have a solution for my blank page anxiety?” I ask him.
Marin took off. He left a Coca-Cola can on my desk and said good night. I’m not in the mood for soda, but then suddenly it strikes me: “Yesss, a glass of whiskey!”
I’d just put the magazine away and laid down two paragraphs.
Copywriters have their moments of being afraid of the blank page. With words and exclamation points audaciously refusing to show up to that fancy ball you’ve got planned for them, on that equally fancy… blank sheet of paper.
For this type of moment in a creator’s life, there is a solution which always works. Many thanks for that to Mr. David Ogilvy:
Many people – and I think I am one of them – are more productive when they’ve had a little to drink. I find if I drink two or three brandies, I’m far better able to write.