top of page

On Writing and Reading

It's the perfect morning. I stretch, get out of bed. The sun is shining and the coffee is brewing. The Today's show is playing on the TV. Everything feels just right. I had planned to spend this morning writing, thinking that I'd be bursting with ideas at the sight of a fresh day. I crack my knuckles and open my laptop, open up an empty document.

The blankness of the page engulfs me.

I feel like Spongebob that time when he had to write an essay and wound up with a very fancy "The".

Where the fuck are all my ideas? It's strange. Sometimes, I feel like my ideas burst out of me like a purge. The some are great, some are just okay, but the steady flow of ideas is the important part. But sometimes, when I stare at that blank page, 19 years of familial trauma washes over me. I'm inspired. Often it's when I'm in the shower, or in class. Mostly in class. You see, my inspiration and ideas often come to me when it is the least convenient. I'll be buying my nonfat cap in the library, rushing to my 8:00am, and suddenly a story or phrase will pop up in my head. Then, I'm obsessed. I can't stop thinking about it is ejected through my brain.

I wish I was at that point in my writing career where I could spout endless advice to people like me who are aspiring writers, journalists, bloggers, etc. Mostly all of the time, I'm insecure about my writing skills. If someone I don't know well asks to read my writing I think I'd go catatonic. When I read stuff by Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird, I can see how she so confidentially shares her own expertise on the matter of writing and the mentality behind it. She is so skilled and I'm jealous of her work. She talks about the Shitty First Draft and how she wakes up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, fearing that she'd die before she could edit her draft. Relatable. If any of you saw the first draft of these blogs before they came out I'd probably die of embarrassment.

You know what else is embarrassing? The fact that I've had this lovely post sitting in my drafts for a month and a half, having lost my own inspiration and filled with self-doubt on my ability to finish what I've started. Occasionally, I've clicked on the post and re-read it allowing my brain to gather its inspiration powers until, like a whoopee cushion, they deflate anticlimactically and leave me feeling frustrated.

Will I ever finish this blog post? The world may never know.

Ah two months later and I'm back, relating more than ever to my own words. I can't be distraught, however, I have spent my brief hiatus lounging in the East Asian sun, starting a workout routine, and most importantly: reading. Let me be your mother/teacher/mentor for a second. Respectfully, with the utmost love and kindness I say to you: if you do not read, close this blog immediately and drive to your nearest book store or open up Amazon and pick out a book. I don't care if you "hate reading" or "don't have the time" you do have the time, damn it! I'm taking 18 units and I still make the time. If you don't read you loose 4 respect points from me, immediately. Any student, business-person, friend, user-of-the-english-language needs to read more. And no, I'm not talking about reading CNN's newest headline. I'm talkin' deep diving, all-in, consuming your thoughts kind of reading. I don't care if it's fiction or non-fiction, a self-help book or a memoir. Consuming thoughtful words on a daily (or every-other-daily) basis helps strengthen our use of the most important thing we have at our disposal! Our ability to communicate. (ohh here she goes, the communication major going off on how communication is a symbolic process where the users create shared meaning)

"We get it Second-Year, we've taken Group Discussion too you know"

Okay, okay, but hear me out. All my research about writing has told me one thing: you gain your inspiration for characters through observing and analyzing the people around you. I agree. But I raise you: How can we write in general if we don't pay attention to the words and conversations and written language around us? How can we write if we don't read what has already been written? That's like trying to play hockey when you've never watched a game. This is why I felt like I had to take a break. I needed time to consume words and stories and information. I've read and read and read and I'm read-y (hah) to be back.

{side note: this is all a long-winded way for me to make an excuse for not writing on here for two months}

That's all for now folks, now go pick up a book!

bottom of page