The writer’s block is real, y’all.
A large part of the process to meet my two articles per week quota is just sitting in front of my computer, a blank doc open, being absolutely stumped on what to write. It’s not that I don’t have ideas; I have dozens of topics I jot down on my notes app when they pop up in my brain. I just can’t seem to make it happen, but then I do. I write my articles and make the edits, and the whole process repeats the next week.
It’s usually no problem for me to write an essay for class – after the initial procrastination, of course. Once I start writing, I just keep at it until I’m done. It might need a few edits, but more often than not, it’s good to go. Writing these articles is different.
I feel so lucky to have this platform to express my thoughts and publish my stories as a part of the Berkeley community, but having the opportunity means I spend so much time trying to prove myself worthy. Usually, this time is spent worrying rather than actually writing. I’m so caught up in wanting my articles to be perfect that it’s hard to start, especially for someone who struggles to motivate herself.
I want to present my best self in each article and write something meaningful or entertaining. Being published is an amazing feeling, but it’s also so scary – having a piece of writing set in stone, memorializing my writing skill at this time. I hate the idea of looking back at my articles in a year and being embarrassed by the things I wrote or how I expressed them. Even now, I recognize some of my articles are better than others.
Once the process of staring at a blank screen slowly transitions to actual writing, I try to remind myself that this is all a natural part of practice. Even if I’m writing to be published, that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to improve over time or that I’m expected to somehow craft better and better articles without fail – there will surely be ups and downs.
I’m working to be confident in what I write every week. I tell myself at every rereading and every edit that if I put my best foot forward, I’ll make something worthwhile. Even if it’s just a list of recipes rather than a heartfelt confession like this, I know I’m putting in the steps to improve.
If I reread my articles now and still feel proud, I tell myself, imagine how much better it’ll get from here.