I recently moved my writing desk into a new room and there is now a freshly-painted but entirely empty wall just beyond my monitor. This morning when I sat down to write, I was staring at two blank pages: the white one with the blinking cursor a foot away from my face, and another one a foot behind that painted in two coats of mocha brown. But for some reason, only one of these blank pages intimidated me. The one on my computer monitor. That flat blank wall? I know what I’m going to do with that. Last night after work I bought four 1’x6” pine boards and sixteen shelf brackets. I’m going to put those shelves up and then I’m going to fill them with all the fun, cool, adventurous toys, collectibles, knick-knacks, oddities and souvenirs I’ve gathered in boxes and under stairs for the past four decades or so. I can’t wait to have displays where Boba Fett chills out next to a model Dodge Challenger, which will sit next to a human skull carved from whale bone, which will be next to a Jon Snow bobble head, who gets to hang with Stalker and Snake Eyes from GI Joe. I can’t wait to fill that wall with all the pop culture artifacts I’ve got hidden away.
And you know what? I think I’m going to fill the other blank page the same way.
They say there are no new ideas under the sun. If you’ve thought of it, a million other people already thought of it a hundred years ago. And I sort of believe that. The thing is, we have the privilege of witnessing all the millions and billions of ideas that have come before us. And although it’s rare for an idea to pop into our minds without any influence or inspiration, we can take and borrow and blend all those other ideas that came before us to come up with something entirely our own. So I’m going to fill up those shelves with all sorts of toys and trinkets and mementos from my life’s experience. And I’d eager to see how that seeps down onto the page!