The Paris Review blog has a wonderful, tiny little excerpt from Vincent Van Gogh’s letters about what to do when the blank canvas (or page or whatever) is staring back at you menacingly:
Just slap something on it when you see a blank canvas staring at you with a sort of imbecility.
You don’t know how paralyzing it is, that stare from a blank canvas that says to the painter you can’t do anything. The canvas has an idiotic stare, and mesmerizes some painters so that they turn into idiots themselves.
Many painters are afraid of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas IS AFRAIDof the truly passionate painter who dares—and who has once broken the spell of ‘you can’t.’