“A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God.” — Sidney Sheldon
BSOD or Blue Screen of Death is a an error screen displayed on a Windows computer system after a fatal system error.
Writers have something called a WSOD or White Screen of Death. It looks something like this:
We might as well be staring at a point of a wall or something. Legend says that if you stare at this screen for long enough you’ll either:
a. get sleepy or even fall asleep
b. get hungry
c. get frustrated and throw your computer off a window
It’s the most complicated set of emotions a person will ever face. To stare at that screen, not even a single word passing between your ears, your mind just as white and innocent as the screen itself. It’s terrifying. It’s the sort of agony they reserve to those select few who make it to the deepest circle of Hell. Maybe even they are exempt from such terror.
You start with a blank screen. With nothing at all. And then words appear on the screen. Not magically. You type them in. But still. There’s a bit of magic in that.
The act of creation is a beautiful mystery to those who never tried it.
To the rest of us, The Writer included, it’s sort of like being slowly boiled in a tub of water. Or something of the sorts. It’s the kind of process you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemies.
But The Writer keeps doing it, all the same. And there are plenty others just like him, people who fight the WSOD each and every single day of their lives.
Why, you ask?
Well, because while all writers hate to write, we sure do love to have written.
It’s nice to play God, to imagine into existence a story that would never have existed were it not for you. It’s not easy, it never is, but it’s worth it.
At the end of the day, when the WSOD becomes a story or a novel, that’s when you understand that something good can be found even in the deepest circles of Hell.