Writing an article like this is not easy. Some writers have a special process that they go through when writing their article. Others just wing it. As for me, my process looks a little something like this:
Stage 1: Brainstorming
For me, this is the easiest part. No matter where I am -- be it walking to class, waiting on line for food, running on the treadmill (LOL) -- I catch myself thinking, “this would be a great article topic!” I usually forget half of these things before I even consider actually writing them, but that's not the point. Some call this creativity, I call it ADHD.
Stage 2: The Fear of Commitment
This is when it comes time for me to pick one of the random thoughts that come in and out of my brain and tell the editor that it is going to be the one I write about. I am an incredibly indecisive person. Needless to say, this is the hard part.
Stage 3: Second Thoughts
Each week, the editors send out a text to the staff with some suggestions on what to write. This text is usually meant to inspire people who don’t know what to write about, but instead, it inspires me to change my mind. This is usually when I ask to change my topic, screwing up the article list for the entire staff as a result. This happens almost every week.
Stage 4: Procrastination
We all do it. We sit down at our desks, intent on accomplishing something, and then we end up shopping for clothes we can’t afford for the next three hours. For me, this happens over the course of a few days. It also leads to the next emotional stage of writing an article….
Stage 5: Regrets
Why did I sign up for this article? Why did I sign up to write for this publication? Why am I a journalism major? Why did I wait until the last minute to start writing this article? Why did I eat that entire bag of chips? Why don’t I get as many shares as she does on her article? Why can’t I think of viral article topics? Why wasn’t I born a Kardashian? What is going on right now? What is my life about?
Stage 6: Panic
It is now the day before the article is due. Scratch that – I have six hours to suck it up and write this article. This article will be posted on the internet with my name attached to it. It will be there forever. Four years from now, when I try and get a grown-up job and they search me on Google, they’ll find this article. If I don’t write a good article, they wont hire me. I won’t get a job. I won’t make any money. I’ll have to live with my parents for the rest of my life. I won’t be able to afford all of those clothes I shopped online for instead of writing this article…I better write a good article.
Stage 7: Acceptance
I just have to do it. I have to sit down, open up my computer and start typing. When I’m done, I can move on with my life. I can do this. I can do this. (What am I doing?)
Stage 8: Frustration
WHAT ARE WORDS AND WHY CAN'T I MAKE THEM MAKE SENSE. WHY DOES THIS THING NOT WORK? WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO MAKE THESE WORDS A HYPERLINK? WHY IS MY PICTURE SIDEWAYS? WHY IS CMS SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND?!
Stage 9: Relief
I’ve never had a car parked on top of me, but I imagine the feeling of that car being lifted off my foot feels a lot like pressing the button to submit my article. It's like taking a deep breath in and exhaling all of the different emotions that have been evoked throughout this process. It feels pretty good to hand in your article, until...
Stage 10: Realization
You're at the beginning of the cycle again. Next week's article isn't going to write itself!