In the film industry when a producer, manager, agent (or, more likely, their assistants) receives a screenplay, the first thing they are said to do is flip through the pages looking at the ratio of white space to black text.
If there isn't enough white space the script automatically goes into the rejection pile. It sounds harsh, but it's for good reason since, generally speaking, one page of a screenplay is equivalent to one minute on the screen.
The white space shows the executive that the writer understands this tight, relatively unforgiving structure. It lets them know the writer did not succumb to flowery, descriptive language, that they likely didn't include a boatload of unimportant details, and that they didn't - God willing - meander.
In screenwriting and in life white space is necessary.
The presence of white space in screenwriting holds the promise of a focused, nuanced, yet engaging and entertaining script. It says, "I'm readable! I might even be a page turner!" That white space is breathing room. It's the pause between ideas, or the time jump between locations and scenes. White space is an exhale.
In life the white space reminds us that we cannot exist within the constant chatter of metaphoric black text. We cannot focus only on output and accomplishments. We must build in the pauses and breaks, because they allow us to rest and help us gather momentum to give birth to the Next Thing.
The birth metaphor is apt, because as with childbirth, we artists conceive, gestate, and labor. The white space is pregnancy, and it can't be rushed, hurried, or skimmed over. Yet, in our culture, we aren't taught to value the white space.
We are taught to be Productivity Machines, and, therefore, are prone to imbalance.
If you don't regularly step back and look at your creative practice as a whole, I recommend it. It's a living thing and it needs tending to. Ask yourself, "Am I leaving enough time in between? Am I exhaling? Am I balanced and focused?"
When we honor the white space we bring ourselves back to center and allow for a more fruitful creative life.