About six years ago, I found myself with the biggest writer’s block I’ve ever had. I did what every teacher up until then told me to do; to get a life. The easiest way to get rid of writer’s block, my teachers said, was to go out and enjoy the day ignoring the writing assignment that you’ve been stuck in. I went ahead and went out. To the movies, to dinner, I watched some TV, and talked on the phone. I came back to my paper feeling refreshed and ready to write! I sat down and there it was, writer’s block once again.
The assignment was possibly the easiest I’ve had but it felt like it was the most difficult. Write about anything! That was the assignment; a creative topic-less essay. Most students would’ve had a field day writing about the most ridiculous things but not me, I was having a horrible time. What could I write about? I enjoyed writing assignments because they always gave me a chance to explore and learn about different topics that were assigned. The only bad feedback I received from my teachers was the length of the paper. “Not long enough?” I used to ask. Their response was that it was too long! I needed to write less.
I didn’t know what to do. All I could do was to sit there and hope ideas flowed onto the paper. “What should I write about?” was the first sentence. I figure that if I kept typing just random sentences I would get ideas, so I did that; I wrote and wrote. I wrote about my childhood, my mother, my journey immigrating into the United States. I also wrote about past essays that I had written back then. I mentioned similarities and differences between each essays and how they came about.
At the end of what seemed a lifetime, I went back to try to isolate a simple idea ignoring the fact that I had four pages full of content. After reading the essay twice I realized that I had unknowingly done the assignment. I wrote about everything and that, would count as anything. I decided to revise it for errors and take a risk by turning it in that way.
I was nervous the day we received them. The teacher began passing everybody’s essays back, that is, everybody but me. I never got mine. The teacher told me to stay after class to discuss my essay. I could not focus all class and was panicky till the end of class. I finally went up to the teacher after class and decided to claim my essay. I sat down and she asked if I knew what I wrote. I felt as though she had given me an “F” on it and was trying to break down the news to me. To my surprised, she loved it. She raved about it; she commended me for writing outside the box and asked if I had ever considered a career in writing. I was startled. Up until that day I had received good feedback from teachers but none as good as this, and for a piece that I thought was mediocre. She told me to pursue writing or at least something involving it like journalism. She thought I had talent, and that made me feel like a million buck.
A couple of days before that I was stuck in writer’s block not knowing what to write but that turned out to be my salvation. I encourage you to just keep on writing. You are bound to come up with an answer to your problem by just writing what you know and how you feel. Write random sentences, write out your favorite song’s lyrics, your favorite movie quotes, etc. Have a conversation with yourself on paper. Do not ignore writer’s block; use it as a tool to motivate you. I used it and it turned out to be the best thing I have ever done.