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Writer’s block. It feels inevitable. And it is. Or it has been in my experience and has occurred more frequently than I would like. If writing was easy then everyone would do it. You may hear that to try to make you feel better, that you have a unique gift that not everyone possesses. And you do, I’m sure. But is anything objectively easy? And what would make it easy? If creative ideas were endless? If two words turned to two thousand twenty minutes in?

But the reality is harsher than the dream, as is often the case. And here is where I think we get things wrong. Sometimes inspiration strikes, and maybe it is evidence of that unique gift you have, maybe you can see things when you look out into the forest that no one else sees. And that makes you quite fortunate. But it is the decision to do something, to move, that produces the writing. An idea is only where you might start, it is never the final product. And no idea is still a fine beginning.

And so here you are still, blank and frustrated, but with a toolbox that has been filled with the skills you have acquired each time you write. This block could very well be your own pride getting in the way, because each time you start it doesn’t feel good enough. It doesn’t feel like it could lead to something that gives you the same satisfaction as that one story that was well-received. It doesn’t feel like it would get that same recognition.

Sometimes it’s exhaustion, too. And that’s hard to fix because even after a good night’s rest the body and mind may still be unaligned. For that I’d suggest a walk outside, soft music or the noise of your surroundings being the best soundtrack. To let yourself be in the world, let yourself explore, and remain open to the chance of a miraculous shooting star in the middle of the day or the pleasant and mundane rustle of crunchy brown leaves.

Indulge me once more as this comes to an end and consider this block more like one you would find in the road. A fallen tree or a big orange sign, and your planned route is interrupted—you have no choice but to shift. And this change in direction may bring more than you’d expect. Perhaps not what you were looking for but keep your eyes peeled. I’ve never once taken the scenic route and regretted the view. It might just be these new roads that are more interesting than the destination. The route might be the best part. And don’t we love writing about the best parts?

Emma MacIntyre

Stonehill '22

I am a senior studying English, Spanish, and creative writing. Besides writing, I love baking, exploring the outdoors, and spending time with my dog and my friends and family.
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