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What to Do With the Blank Page?

As we at TLC Graphics wait for whatever IngramSpark must do to make My Publishing Journey available for sale, we’d like to share something we learned while creating this little book. It’s that monster called the blank page. As designers, we’re used to beginning with a big, white rectangle and know how to approach the challenge of filling it properly. When we donned the somewhat uncomfortable writing hat, that page was quite ominous! Forcing ourselves to put off any sort of design until we’d finished writing felt like torture.

Antsy to get to the visuals, we realized that any word on the page would nullify its blank status, so we typed the concept at the top and started a list of questions we would pose the reader. This list began to develop into a more fleshed-out outline of the book and then came actual writing.

The beginning of a book.

Our book’s very humble beginning.

It’s a bit silly to even call us authors, as the short bits we wrote for this book are mere specs compared to what all of you write! WE ARE IN AWE. It was scary and rewarding to write those little blurbs at the beginning of each section, though — oh, and the several-paragraph introduction. There was a lot of patting ourselves on our backs (and relief) as each sentence or two was honed properly. The bulk of the writing was done by published authors and established publishing professionals. Thank you for ensuring our brains wouldn’t explode from trying to write the way you can!

Eventually our design nature took over and, at what we’d hoped was a temporary loss for words, we took a break and began the design process. Finally! It felt a bit like we’d waved a proverbial white flag when we gave in, but quickly realized that working with our nature rather than against it was a wise decision. While putting in hours on the book’s layout and minute graphic details, the holes in the text became apparent and solutions for each were much easier to find.

Design Decisions: Should the bird's tail stick out? What color should we make the one in the corner? Which background works best with the image?

Design Decisions: Should the bird’s tail stick out? What color should we make the one in the corner? Which background works best?

It took us just 10 crazy weeks to create our 64-page book and send the files to press. That’s pretty nuts. We’re now learning to work social media and writing here on our blog, press releases, advertisements, guest blog posts, and magazine articles — far more than we ever wrote in our own book! My brain would hurt if we weren’t having such fun with the challenge and focusing on the idea that our book will bring hope and smiles to the authors who use it.

We’d love to know what you do when faced with a blank page. Please share your solutions with our readers in the comments section. Consider signing up to receive a notice whenever the TLC designers have some semblance of wisdom to share. We won’t clog your in-box, I promise! Please share this with your author friends, as well.

May God bless your writing journey!
Tami Dever