It was towards the end of last school year when I lost my love for writing. All my pieces seemed lack-luster and dull, due to a combination of the persistent tiredness that usually rooted itself around all of the tests in May, and a lack of inspiration from a year of nonstop writing. I found myself hopelessly jotting down story after story and doing everything I could to finish out the year strong; I would make character maps and force myself to journal every day and endlessly research ways to regain what I had lost, however nothing seemed to work and once school ended, all of my efforts seemed useless and I gave up once and for all, taking the time off to stop stressing about what I was putting down on the page and focus more on relaxing.
The idea, in theory, seemed helpful, however the longer break I took, the more of a rift arose that, as time passed, produced a growing divide between my craft and I that wasn’t noticed until I tried to write again a few weeks later. I remember sitting in front of my computer screen for hours at a time, but eventually leaving the same word document blank, and far more uninviting than it had been when I first started. It felt hopeless and once again I gave up, deciding that I needed this break. That all that writing throughout the year had drained me and I needed more time. I had never once thought that perhaps my struggle came from my constant, invading thoughts and not the lack of creativity itself.
It was about a month after that, however when I was getting ready for a flight to Seattle with my stepmom, that my passion for writing began to spark up again.
I had heard so much about Seattle and how it was a city you can’t help fall in love with, a city crowded with graffiti and creativity and artwork. The image of watching the city move below me, as I sat on the balcony filling page after page with writing seemed more than inviting, so I decided to pack up all of my pens and hard-bound notebooks and my laptop to once and for all conquer my “writers block” and find the creative part of myself again.
It wasn’t until we were sitting at the airport, however, that I reached down into my carry-on bag to find my notebook and realized I had left that very book sitting on my bed at home after rearranging everything in my bag. Trying to problem solve in my head, and explaining the ordeal to my stepmom beside me, she introduced the idea of simply buying a notebook in one of the many airport stop-n-go shops we had passed along the way. The idea sounded senseless considering I had a very detailed organization system, but deciding to take a chance I made my way to the nearest stop, picked out a small red book and came back to my seat to just write. And I wrote. I wrote poems, and snippets of stories, and streams of consciousness, and character maps and everything I could think of. I wrote and wrote and wrote without stopping, not letting myself get in the way and not caring if the book tore or if coffee spilled on the pages or if the words smeared.
I realized that it was not that I had a lack of creativity or any form of “writers block,” but rather that I was overthinking everything I wrote and holding myself back. It was as if I had created a dam in my mind to stop all of the ideas and now it had just broken open again, making its way through my hand and onto paper. I realized then that writing has nothing to do with the tight constraints of how you write but more to do with finding that creative space your mind won’t let you into and diving in deep.
Since then I have found myself pursuing writing more and getting less frustrated when something doesn’t work out, and instead just moving on to something new and fresh. I journal every day and I read more often and I get random spurts of inspiration that lead to stocked up pieces on my computer and in my notebook, I look back on often. I’ve cleared my mind of harmful thoughts about what to write and how to go about writing and where to start, deciding to simply just let my mind wander and take me somewhere new every time.
I finally found the key to writing that I was looking for all along: imprecision.
–Lexey Wilson, Junior Editor-in-Chief