Freedom of Page
10 February 2016 by Joey Cofone
Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom. —Soren Kierkegaard
I’m a designer by trade. Every now and then someone comments on something I’ve made by saying, “That looks easy. I could do that.” That’s when I proceed to put a pencil and blank sheet of paper in front of them and respond, “Go for it.”
The first thing people ask is where they should start. Of course it’s easy if there are instructions, if there’s a linear path outlined—step one, step two, and so on. But that’s not the case when creating something new. It can’t be, by definition; if it existed already then there wouldn’t be any newness.
Freedom of the blank page—endless possibility—is why we started Baron Fig. We’re fascinated with experimentation, creation, and yes, even failure. Thomas Edison best put failure into perspective, saying, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”
There are pioneers of the mind just as much as there are pioneers of the physical reality. Ideas are both the fuel and the product of mental exploration. New ideas, old ones, good ones, bad ones; each a small step towards scratching off more of the surface of what it means to be a thinking being.
Ultimately, when we push the bounds of what we think is possible, we end up giving birth to something that hasn’t been done before. This—creation—is the epitome of our human uniqueness. And it starts on the blank page.
To create doesn’t mean you have to draw the plans of a skyscraper or the physics formula for the unifying theory of the universe. It can be as simple as taking notes in a meeting or writing a journal entry. Every new mark on a page is a baby step, and before you know it you’re taking leaps.
So I challenge you to sit in front of a blank page—and let your mind be truly free.