Tuesday, February 12, 2019

A Cure for Blank Page Syndrome

By Marie Wells Coutu

Got blank page syndrome? Or even blank mind?

I’m a plotter, so I do create an outline before I start writing a book. If I don’t, I find myself spending way too much time revising and reorganizing.

BUT just because I know what needs to happen in a scene doesn’t mean I know the specifics. “Heroine talks to hero” doesn’t tell me much. 

So I face a blank page. How do I start the scene? Where are they? Who else is there? What do they talk about?

Most of those questions need to be answered before I can start writing.

One of the most effective ways I’ve found to fill in those blanks is to start by praying, asking God to give me the right words to write.

Proverbs 16:3 confirms this approach: 

“Commit your works to the Lord and your thoughts will be established.” (MEV)

Invariably if I begin writing and I haven’t committed the writing to God, the ideas don’t come. Or if they do, they’re not very good.

Of course, even when I do pray, the words in my first draft are not very good but at least I’ve gotten something on paper (or into Scrivener).

More importantly, I know God is directing my thoughts and giving me the ability to create a story that will reveal Him to my (eventual) readers. That’s all I want, really.

So next time you face a blank page, try committing the project to God and ask Him to direct your thoughts so your words can accomplish His purpose.


Marie Wells Coutu finds beauty in surprising places, like old houses, gnarly trees, and forgotten treasures. When she’s not writing about finding restoration and healing through God-designed journeys, she enjoys taking broken things and making them useful.

The Secret Heart, her newest release, was named a finalist in both the 2018 National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Awards and the 2018 Royal Palm Literary Awards sponsored by Florida Writers Association. Her debut novel, For Such a Moment, won the Books of Hope Contest. Thirsting for More, the second book in the series was a finalist in the Selah Awards Contest and a semi-finalist in the Royal Palm Literary Awards. An unpublished historical novel set near Golden Pond has been a finalist in five contests.

She grew up in Kentucky, has lived in Kansas, Connecticut, Minnesota, Iowa and South Carolina. With her handyman husband of four decades, she now divides her time between Florida and the Midwest.You can find more about Marie and her novels on her Facebook page (Author Marie Wells Coutu), at her website (MarieWellsCoutu.com), or follow her on Twitter (@mwcoutu) or on Amazon.com.