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Serious case of writer’s block, serious lack of ideas

Feb 21 • Opinion • 1033

By LYDIA FENNESSY

copy editor

Writing can be really difficult sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love writing. It’s just that sometimes the words and ideas just aren’t there.
Take this column, for instance. I sat in front of my blank computer screen for a good 20 minutes trying to think of something relevant to say, but I had nothing. Absolutely nothing. I had a serious case of writer’s block and a serious lack of ideas.
Writer Roy Blount Jr. once said, “I think writer’s block is simply the dread that you are going to write something horrible. But as a writer, I believe that if you sit down at the keys long enough, sooner or later something will come out.”
Staring at the keys did not seem to be working for me, though. Hoping to gain some inspiration, I logged into my high school email account and pulled up some of the pieces I wrote for a creative writing class my senior year of high school.
If you’re ever looking for a laugh, I highly recommend taking the trip down memory lane. I couldn’t help but chuckle at my obvious attempt to reach length requirements by adding unnecessary adjectives and filler words.
It’s ironic how much I struggled to meet length requirements then because word limits are now the enemy.
Unnecessary adjectives aside, reading through my old work was really interesting. There was a certain optimism that crept into most of the pieces – one that I hope is still evident in my writing today.
It was also interesting to see that while a lot about my style has changed – and improved – since I took that creative writing course, a lot about my writing remains the same.
This was particularly evident in a piece I wrote titled “Audience of One,” which was all about who I write for. In the essay, I reflected upon how I wrote with my dad in mind.
My dad was an editor for a small daily newspaper near my hometown, so a lot of my love for writing has been inspired by him.
Although I’m sure he would deny it, there is a lot of pressure to write well when your father is an editor. His voice was always in the back of my mind while I was writing, reminding me to be careful not to switch tenses or that I didn’t need so many commas.
He would almost always read my pieces after they were finished to offer feedback and help me to be a better writer. I looked forward to this time with him, learning about his passion for editing.
While my dad doesn’t edit the pieces I write anymore – I have Kelsey, the editor-in-chief, to do that now – I still write with him in mind. I look forward to hearing his feedback each week.
I take pride in the fact that I am following in his editor footsteps – even if it is only while I am in school.

LYDIA FENNESSY
fennessy004@knights.gannon.edu

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