I have been writing for Odyssey for about three years now, and I can say with certainty that I have had my fair share of writer's block. But when I really think about it, a teenager's writer's block is nothing like an adult's writers block. Don't get me wrong —professional writers also have deadlines, and writer's block isn't any easier for them.
The experience for teenagers is much more different. When relying we solely have to rely on ourselves, our editors and the internet. We don't have as many resources as professionals do. When it comes to overcoming writer's block, that too is a process of its own. I thought giving you all a taste of a teenager journalist's writers block, as shown by our favorite "Big Bang Theory," might help put things into perspective for you.
1. Sitting down, cracking our knuckles, ready to type. But then it hits us — we have a deadline coming up but there's nothing to write about. Perfect.
Yes, absolutely perfect. It's not just the article deadline we have to worry about, but also that 2,500 word essay we were supposed to have drafted up because it's due tomorrow. Procrastination — yay!
2. We try everything. Everything! We write random words down hoping it will trigger thoughts. We take naps. But nothing works.
Napping is a little risky because once we're knocked out, we're really knocked out. Who knows if we'll ever wake up because sleep is rarity at our age? But if we end up waking up on time, maybe a dream or two could give us an idea.
3. We start questioning the world around us. Were we really meant to be writers? Who thought writing was a good idea? Why are we doing this to ourselves?
Maybe writing wasn't cut out for us but good think we realized so young. Dramatic, I know, but that's what happens when you mix contemplation with stress.
4. If you can't tell, we're panicking. We have a deadline in 12 hours, and we haven't written a single paragraph.
It is at this moment, we realize we also might have a pop quiz in Calculus BC because the teacher hinted at it in class today. Where can I find a brown bag? Anyone?
5. As a last resort, we text our friends asking them to throw random ideas at us because what are friends for?
We all have that go-to friend that probably says really weird stuff that triggers some of the best ideas.
6. And while they're always there for you in other situations...
I've gotten some really good ideas from my friends like my "21 Types Of High Schoolers Who Make School Irritatingly Worthwhile" which came about during one of our daily lunch gossip sessions. Go read it if you haven't already! I'm sure all high schoolers will be able to identify at least one of the types of high schoolers, and if you're a "been-there-done-that," take a trip down memory lane!
7. ... Writing isn't exactly their forte. And after all, they have their own AP Literature essay deadlines coming up.
...But sometimes, they aren't that useful. After all, they have their own fish to fry.
9. We try searching up random things on the internet, hoping something will push our imagination. After all, who doesn't love a good reddit string.
A fellow writer and I love using the "Buzzfeed Title Generator" by Ravi Parikh; it helps us brainstorm silly ideas for listicles we know our friends and classmates would enjoy reading.
10. And if things get real bad, we try contacting the Big Man because we already have two tests in Chemistry and World History but the last thing we need is to miss our internship deadline.
Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures.
12. It's 2 a.m., and we haven't even touched that anatomy project due tomorrow but who cares. Because we got an idea. Finally.
*Looks over at the pile of papers shiftily* Nah, it can wait.
13. And finally, we've done it. We don't know how, but it's done. Maybe Sheldon can tell us why.
How'd I do it? Easy, I'm batman.
14. We get up from our seats, stretch and look over at the pile of homework waiting for us. We sigh because we know that we'll be doing this next week—all over again.
Like I said, we aren't professionals; procrastination is in our blood. When that's mixed with writer's block, you best be seeing this process all over again.
15. But through all the blocks, we love what we do and wouldn't trade it for the world.
The struggle is real; I've admitted it multiple times. But I know one thing for sure, my passion for journalism will definitely carry on well into my adulthood.