I stared at the blank screen in front of me. Perfectly empty and lifeless, just waiting for me to fill the spaces with the recounting of some grand tale or adventure that I had thought over in the past. Multiple hours had passed, each lost minute serving as a reminder of the impending deadline. This was supposed to be a fun assignment, a harmless activity designed to give me a use for my creativity and the motivation to pursue some sort of hobby or pastime. Why was the simple act of writing so difficult to do? No matter how hard I tried, the simple act of pressing my fingers against the keys to create words seemed so daunting. Simply opening the blank document and meeting the wordless canvas designed specifically for writing was mentally exhausting. I distracted myself frequently, mostly by putting the writing time off by anywhere from half an hour to a full day. “Just one more YouTube video”, I’d say to myself. “I’ll go out and get some lunch. THEN I’ll be ready to write”. I was willing to do anything, if only it would buy me more time. As I prepared to finally fulfill my promise and to write my story, I reflected on my thoughts prior, hoping to find some sort of reason for my hesitation. One of the most overwhelming feelings that coursed through me was that of an overflowing mind. There were many ideas bouncing around in the walls of my brain, but they were often half-baked and incomplete. The basic premise for a story was there, but because there were so many of them, not one was ever given the chance to properly develop into a full-fledged project. The potential was far too much for someone like me to handle. I wanted to write about everything that flashed in my mind for so much as a second, creating a feeling of disappointment and melancholy within myself for my perceived inability to properly convey my ideas in a way that would, at the very least, somewhat appear that they were written by someone who had managed to graduate from high school. Alongside the admittedly ridiculous notion that every idea I had was worth writing about was the idea that no matter what I wrote, it would immediately be written off as utter garbage, meaningless nonsense that would only be enjoyed by me. I understood that crazier concepts had been produced before, and to great success. The idea of a young orphan being taken away to study witchcraft and wizardry seems completely laughable when written out, and yet Harry Potter still managed to become a multimedia icon and a staple of children’s literature. Concept-wise, shows like SpongeBob SquarePants appear so ridiculous that it’s a miracle that they were even considered for development, but against they odds, such products reached international appeal and became crucial parts of television history. Why was it so hard for me to come forward with my ideas? I thought about it hard as I rested my hands on the keyboard, feeling mentally drained and very wary of the story that would eventually be created, whether I wanted it to be or not. It was after a few minutes of reflection that I finally understood: Fear. It was the fear of being rejected and the fear of failure that kept me from achieving my goals. I had always been someone who wished to go through life as free from controversy as possible. I had never wanted to stand out from the crowd in a way that would make myself open to ridicule. It was because of this that I was completely fine with playing it “safe” and relegating myself to positions that would keep my creativity as inconspicuous as possible. I had always understood that without risk, rewards would often be unsatisfactory. However, I was willing to put that thought aside for the sake of my relative comfort. Coming to this realization was somewhat disappointing. I was ashamed of myself for being too afraid to pursue my dreams. I knew that I would have to change at some point in the future. I would only be in college for so long, and I’d eventually have to carve my own identity in the world. It was a nerve-wracking thought to be sure, but if that future was inevitable, then why fight it? Why be afraid of exposing your creations to the world? As these thoughts continued to pervade my mind, I finally decided how I would proceed from that point on. The story that I would write that day would be somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but between the time of its completion and the time of the next story’s beginning, I’d try to assuage my fears of being laughed at for my work. I’d make a genuine effort to take a thought from my head and to expand it into a full narrative. With these thoughts in mind, I finally felt ready to begin writing my tale. Considering previous events, a story about not knowing what to write about seemed just about right.
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