Facing the blank page is an act of vulnerability. In my case, it’s a feeling of vulnerability that I rather enjoy (unlike all the other experiences of vulnerability in my life).
If you want to push yourself beyond where you thought you could go with your writing, you need to explore this feeling and move right through it. Go ahead, push yourself! Write about something you didn’t think you would ever want to write about. Write about something that scares you. Put your characters through distress. By allowing your characters to explore their boundaries, you will also get to test your limits.
If you’re diligent, you will emerge with something extraordinary to show for it: a new piece of writing that only you could have created. Is it perfect? Probably not. It might be total crap. The possibility that you might produce utter garbage is most likely why you felt vulnerable when you sat down to face the blank page. And it’s OK. Whatever the quality of your new manuscript, you now have something to work with. When you sit down to edit that structure and finesse those sentences, that’s when the real writing will begin.