Life’s too short for writer’s block

Ellie Smith, Staff Writer

I’ve heard of writer’s block what seems to be a million times. Everyone hears it on the news or from family members or teachers. It’s almost common knowledge that writer’s block is when a writer has a hard time coming up with an idea of what to write and how to write it.

I have always had an aptitude for reading and writing. When I was in the sixth grade, I felt that one of the only places I could shine was in the writing I submitted to my teacher. For the first time, someone took an interest in my work and wanted to help me. At first I liked writing for the attention, but it wasn’t until I saw the meaning in other pieces of literature that I realized words could have an impact.

In eighth grade, I was in speech team at the middle school. I performed a piece called “Dear Virginia,” by Ken Bradbury. This monologue talked about the outcasts, the afraid, and the average kids that get lost in our world. It spoke of how all it takes is a “you” to reach out and make a difference as long as the individual takes notice. I couldn’t speak these words to audiences with no action behind them from me. I started to notice others in a different way, and decided I didn’t want to be scared of what might happen if I tried to reach out to the outcasts, the afraid, or the kid who simply goes unnoticed.

That’s when I realized my ability to write and convey messages to others in a passionate and intellectual way was an important strength that I want to share with others in the same way that message had been shared with me.

Once I was in high school, I would write for fun occasionally and enter the Writing Talent Search and other competitive writing events. It wasn’t until this past summer that I started writing almost every day. This daily writing brought me great joy throughout the summer and into the school year. I was even impressed with how frequently I was still willing to write when I was swamped beneath homework and activities that the fall seems to bring. However, as this year has progressed into late autumn and the beginning of a frigid winter, I am feeling less inclined to write about my day or fun stories that come from trips, hangouts with friends, or crazy family members over the holidays.

I am now the one experiencing writer’s block.

“But how!? Why!?” I ask to myself… How does one who has never been at a loss for words feel dumbfounded!?

That’s when I reflected on personal turmoil in my life. I have been having the same inner conflict from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I wrote about this long ago, but it hasn’t left my head since. No ideas, no creative breakthroughs, few personal realizations–just turmoil. But suddenly, as closure comes to the issue, I want to write again. With forgiveness and release of anger comes great freedom. Luckily my freedom is arriving with perfect timing. I finally have freedom from my turmoil to have creative thoughts or write what may someday be the best memories I possess.

In reality, the four years of high school in the life expectancy of an average American (78 years) seems like nothing. But even though these years seem small, the change that high schoolers undergo is drastic. Life is too short for writer’s block. I want to capture the awkward, frightening, insignificant, monumental, and comedic moments so that one day my words may speak like “Dear Virginia” spoke through me.