To write or not to write?: 11,890 minutes remaining


Ayana Martin, Journalism1

With my head resting on my hand, I ponder the next action.

“What to write….. what to write,” I repeat. Ding!

An idea pops into my head quickly: I move my hands to type out my thoughts on the computer before it is gone in a second.  A satisfied smirk appears on my lips with a nod of the head; however, seconds after rereading what I wrote, that proud smirk is wiped clean like a castle on the beach and a wave from the ocean washes it away. What did I just write? I thought in disgust.

Now frustrated, the confidence that I once had, disappears into thin air. Down in my spirits, I turned my head to the right, glancing at the girl’s screen in front of me. My eyes opened to five times their original sizes, shocked to see she had written two pages already. How did she write so quickly? Then I turn to the guy on my left, and I see from his screen that he’s done three paragraphs already. As I look around the room, everybody is typing but me. Feeling like a fish out of water, I watched my classmates typing away at their computers: their hands moving quickly at their keyboards, like a composer creating a beautiful symphony. Feeling motivated, I put my hands on my keyboard. “Okay, back to work,” I tell myself. Stuck like gum on your shoe, nothing can come to my mind. “Come on,” I said irritatedly “Come on.” I said again. Minutes go by and still, nothing came to my mind like a single sheet of blank paper.  

Over the last four years of attending MHS, I have gained five pieces of writing advice:

1. Take breaks

2. Reread old pieces of work you have written

3. Swap with friends

4. Talk to a teacher who you can trust

5. Only you can motivate yourself!

You may not get an A+ on your journalism paper, but at least you can say you have fun with it. Writing takes time, the time I never have or time that I waste and write at the last minute. 

Typically, after I get a grade on the assignment whether good or bad, I would never look at it again; however, in composition for Mrs. Holloway’s class, we had to fix an old essay for an assignment. The essay I picked was “This I Believe,” the first essay I wrote in composition. Revisiting that essay left me in shock—it didn’t sound like my writing. I know at the time I had struggled with this personal essay; nonetheless, I thought it was okay with my strengths. I was mistaken. I had failed to get my point across to my audience, causing problems in writing. Rewriting this essay showed me the faults in my writing.  

  1. Having writer’s block is an unpleasant feeling, but what is worse is fatigue and burnout. You don’t want to fall asleep from exhaustion late at night with your half-ass writing still unfinished. Take a break, you need it, your brain, and your computer battery. It will help regain your focus. 
  2. Reread an old essay is one of the only things I learned in Mrs. Amanda Holloway’s, English teacher, class. 
  3. For those who don’t like peer review, trading papers with a friend improves feelings of rejection and your writing. Several times, my friends and I would trade paper to help one another with our paper. A friend can catch your mistakes. 
  4. Talking to a teacher can feel overwhelming and awkward. Sending an email may lead you to be left on read and you need feedback now! Talking after class will make you late for Mrs. Lopez’s painting class. If you don’t want to talk to your teacher, you could talk to another English teacher like Mr. Boruff. If that doesn’t work, then try Grammarly! 
  5. Being motivated to write is not an easy task– believe me, I’ve tried– but it works. Friedrich Nietzsche once said“You yourself will always be the worst enemy you can encounter.” fear plays a role in your life when you have doubts, standing in the way of your success. But it’s okay to fail, failing doesn’t mean you’re a failure, you just mess up. I mess up all the time, nonetheless, I continue to do it until I get it right. Thinking positive thoughts can boost your confidence. Tell yourself “ I got this…… keep up the good work…… I’m almost gone.” Hype up yourself when no one else will. That’s my five tips to do while writing my paper. Good luck!