-

The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

-

archive

Object lesson for writers

Anna Boarini | Monday, October 10, 2011

I am currently suffering from a horrific case of writer’s block. I honestly feel as though I have nothing to say. Anyone who has ever had this problem knows that it is ugly.

What makes my predicament even worse is midterms. I have about seven papers that need to be written. The prompts stare at me, taunting, however, I don’t know where to start.

I feel almost physical discomfort knowing there are all these words inside me. They want to burst out onto the page, but my fingers just won’t move.

I feel like my beloved Mac (we’ll miss you Steve) is looking at me with a pitying expression.

As the clock ticks, and my deadline comes closer, I’m starting to feel the pressure. There is tension in my soldiers and I know I look like a crazy person the way I’m crouched over my laptop.

What’s most frustrating is I’m always the girl with a story. I whip papers out in less than an hour and can write an Inside Column in about fifteen minutes.

But not this column. This column has been like pulling teeth. When I volunteered to write it, I knew I would think of something. However, I still can’t come up with a topic.

I tried writing about the beautiful fall weather. Or about how my sister just got into the University of Wyoming.

I tried to describe how excited I was to go home for fall break and actually get a full night’s sleep. I am so desperate for a topic I even described the turkey sandwich I just ate, which was delicious.

I’m frantic here. Nothing I write is good enough and every sentence I write falls flat on the page. I’ve probably deleted hundreds of words at this point.

As the clock ticks, each second falls on me like a ton of bricks. My deadline is looming and I have nothing to say. There goes another second of wasted writing time.

My freshman year, one of my favorite professors of all time, Dr. Bill, said to get through writer’s block, you just have to push through and keep writing. Well, Dr. Bill, I’m trying and FAILING.

It’s almost like I’ve run out of stuff to talk about. With all the topics in the world and the amazing stories out there, I can’t find something to write about.

I’ve switched up my music choice in an attempt to get inspired, but it’s not working. I even took a walk around in an attempt to get the creative juices working.

But, alas, here I sit with a look of panic on my face and nothing to say.

I guess what this column taught me is that Dr. Bill was right. Even when you have nothing to say, and the writer’s block is actually painful, if you keep putting pen to paper, eventually the words will come.

Contact Anna Boarini at

aboarini@nd.edu

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.