Blank Page Syndrome

The “blank page syndrome” is one of the greatest challenges often faced by professionals, engaged creatively.

We have often heard stories of writers who after putting a blank page into their typewriters keep wondering about what they are going to write. And sometimes they freeze. At times they get frustrated by staring into the blank page for long.

However, this syndrome is not only faced by writers. Whether it is a blank Word document, a blank canvas, or a blank page of a sketch book or a machine that an engineer looks at, the effect is the same. No new ideas flow. It is scary.

As we understand, creativity is the creation of something out of nothing. It is always about creating new knowledge or new interpretation or new explanation of life and the world around us. However, from that “blank page” might suddenly leap into reality a new piece of knowledge, a new painting, a new story, a new poem, a new song, a new explanation that would capture a viewer’s imagination propelling them into another time and space – providing them valuable new insights and new ways of looking at the world and at their lives.

The questions are: How do we overcome the syndrome? How do we start? How do we overcome feelings of possible inadequacy or fear of failure? What is the secret?

The secret, as I see it, is – unless you are deeply inspired don’t create. Once inspired, fear of failure is automatically rejected since it desperately seeks an expression. Love that accompanies inspiration helps new ideas to flow in synchronized pattern. If that is so then what steals or dries up our inspiration?

First, it is our tendency to judge what we come across. More we judge more cynical and depressed we become. I believe that depression and cynical attitude are anti-creative. So, if we suspend our judgement for a while, our chance to be inspired increases exponentially.

Second, our inspiration stops when we expect any specific outcome from our effort of creating something new. Even the mere expectation of expecting people to like what we do can still the creative flow of ideas.

Third, is our fear of non-conformance to the traditional. Thoughts like, “it has always been done this way,” or “people don’t like this way of dressing,” or “it is improper to air my understanding of such and such issues in public,” can freeze us before a “blank page.”

Fourth, is our inability to deeply experience what we come across. More often we do get inspired by what we deeply see and feel. We get inspired when new perspectives, new insights, new knowledge effortlessly pop out from what we deeply experience. Once that happens the inspiration has a life of its own. It flow from the mind to the “blank page.”

In short, getting and staying inspired is the vital ingredient to stay fresh and creative in whatever we do as professionals. It gives us the confidence to succeed. More than that, it always provides the sense of excitement that accompanies being creative. Without fail, that excitement spurs us on in our creative journey.

Possibly a simple way to state this — just play with what interests you. In playing we can simply go anywhere we like and do anything we want to and get whatever we want to get in our imagination.

That is the secret of overcoming the “blank page syndrome.”

There is no need to stare at a “blank page.” When inspiration strikes look for a blank page. 




Engaging with Love

How can one engage with anything without love?

How can one engage with love without understanding?

How can one engage with understanding without learning?

How can one engage with learning without questions?

How can one engage with questions without concentration?

How can one engage with concentration without “seeing?”

How can one engage with “seeing” without imagination?

How can one engage with imagination without inspiration?

How can one engage with inspiration without embracing the vastness of relatedness arising out of nothing?

What is so difficult about Entrepreneurship?

To understand how difficult entrepreneurship is one has only to understand the root of the word ‘entrepreneur‘. The root is a Sanskrit word ‘anthaprerna‘, which means inspiration from within‘. Incidentally the way ‘entrepreneur’ is pronounced is exactly the same as ‘anthaprerna’.

That might be the reason as to why we often ask, ‘Can we really teach anyone entrepreneurship?’

It is obvious that one can’t teach anyone ‘inspiration from within’. It is intensely personal and can’t be generated through any imposed structured education, routine or plan. This is because ‘inspiration from within’ is not something that can be copied from somewhere. As its name suggest it has to come from within and can’t be brought about by any force. It comes when it comes. But once it comes it keeps coming and the person is well on his/her way to entrepreneurship and beyond.

Such has been the case with Bill Gates, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and a host of other equally inspiring figures. They were all “inspired from within” and such inspirations blossomed into well admired and enviable enterprises.

It is worthwhile to note that they did not start with a business plan or model. They generated their inspiration exactly like great artists and improvised as they followed their inspirations creating wonder and awe in its wake.

So would it be possible for any other potential entrepreneur to copy their methods and techniques and build on them if their methods were taught in colleges as case studies? Daniel Khaneman argues in his famous book “Thinking Fast and Slow” why that is impossible by highlighting Google as case in point.

And why is this so?

Because the entrepreneurs who leave behind a lasting impact on our world don’t go out in search for answers to their questions. They wait for the answers to come to them. They are hardly inspired by what others are doing. They draw out their inspirations from whatever they are engaged in. Then a magic happens. Because every other thing that they need to follow their inspiration follows them.

…… now that is entrepreneurship!




(TINI (The International Nemetics Institute) keeps that in mind while delivering their 3 months certificate course on ‘Emotional Entrepreneurship’.)