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I’ve always been intimidated by blank spaces – those gaps left between things specifically. They carry so much expectation. Nicely middled things, jostled either side by things close before or quickly followed, get to hide, easily overlooked by what came before or after. But beginning again, so much more than a first attempt which comes without a history to colour it, starting over comes with that pause before, focusing attention, gathering up the weight of shadowy last attempts and emotion and success and failures. All eyes on.

I’m paralysed by it. It’s one of my least favourite traits. Get me in my stride and boy, will I go, like a champion skier down a slalom whipwhipwhip. But chances are I’ve teetered on the top for an age first. I will fail, I will fail, I say. I can’t do it as good again. It won’t be good enough, and everyone is looking and I’ll look like a fool. I can’t I can’t. 

I can, of course, and do. I’m getting better at it. Those teeters don’t last for long now.

If you open the first page of notebooks or sketchbooks in my house you’ll often find them scribbled on, the depth of my intimidation echoed in the heaviness and desperation of the line.  The more I want what follows to be something special, the more fiercely I deface. I scribble in my silly, egotistical doubts and vanity. You want to see crap, brain? See THIS. I bet what follows won’t be come close to the crapness of this. And then with that over with, with that bottom line of crap established, it’s safe to start over.

I miss blogging. I miss writing.

So this is me scribbling all over my blog.


  1. Nice scribble. 

  2. Antonia

    Have you read the Artist’sWay by Julia Cameron. The concept of Daily Pages – just writing three pages of randomness and binning them – is a great way to get your brain going past the ‘it’s not good enough’ thing. I love the idea of scribbling in the first page of a pristine new notebook or sketchpad – a great way to get past the need for perfect! Will share that with DD who gets very focussed on things having to be spot on. 

  3. Very deep thoughts! xx

  4. This is great. You even scribble brilliantly. I could adapt that and use it as a blog header, if I was technically minded, which I’m not!

  5. I always put a quote from something I’ve read recently on the first page of blank books before I begin to fill them with my own thoughts. . . beautiful scribble!  

  6. You do good scribble. It’s amazing how as women, we sometimes totally lack self-confidence, even when we can do great things. Just look at the face of Kai there in the margin!

  7. Oh I always write the first page in a book, then copy it onto the second page and rip the first one out so it looks perfect. I am a bit of a nutter really.

    I like the scribble idea.

  8. this text is very well written, you must be a really intelligent person, keep up the good work.

  9. brilliant article. keep sharing.

  10. Oh I always write the first page in a book, then copy it onto the second page and rip the first one out so it looks perfect. I am a bit of a nutter really.

  11. Josie

    Why thank you. Beats one of those excuse note ‘why I haven’t been blogging’ posts anyway, huh? ;)

  12. Josie

    I have, thank you! My copy is well-thumbed now. Morning pages became a little unrealistic with my morning routine but the principles definitely stuck. Great book.

  13. Josie

    Heh, let me know if you want me to make you one! x

  14. Josie

    Hee, it was just a way of getting going again really, but thank you.

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