Knights have their dragons, superheroes have their super villains, man has their mountains, and writers have their blank pages. In many ways the blank page can be even more intimidating than the deadliest foe. While dragons, villains, and mountains have their unique tools of destruction at their disposal they have one thing that leave them utterly unworthy to compare themselves to the blank page. They exist. Give a writer a prompt, a picture, or a splatter of coffee and it can send them racing with poems, prose, narratives, and novels! But a blank page? To pull from existence something that never was before? This is where Galahad falls short to his creator Tennyson, Batman to Bob Kane, and
Edmund Hilary to sherpa Tenzing? These are the masters who deserve our biggest accolades. They dared to bring words that never existed before and give them life.
I salute anyone who accomplishes this. Does that mean all written works are works of art or genius? Heavens no. Does that mean I think anything I write should be published, treasured, and taught in high schools for hundreds of years? Yikes. My point is that I think we are too harsh to judge authors too quickly. They did a HARD thing and even though we may not like it or identify with it doesn’t give us the right to tear it apart.
But what about those truly appalling books that make us cringe even to see them on the bookshelves? Let us not judge the authors for having a voice, for everyone deserves that, let us instead lay blame with the editors and publishers who let it get published. For their’s is the more truly heinous crime by far.
So join with me in celebrating the defeat of the blank page. Without such support some of the greatest pieces of literature would never have been created. Celebrate, adore, and cherish the brilliant pieces out there who deserve our attention. As for the petulant authors who have defeated their blank page only to give us rubbish, let us give them the worst thing any author could be punished with, our silence.