I’m stuck. I’ve been working on this one story for a few months now. I get bursts of inspiration in the middle of the night and have basically outlined the timeline of the story in my head, but lately, I’ve been feeling stuck.
As I was looking for a saved document, I came across a bunch of old assignments from different writing classes during college. While I was reading through them, I thought, why not post some? They aren’t the best, but I look at them as important stepping stones in my writing journey.
So this piece was from my Creative Non-Fiction class, senior year. I believe the purpose of the assignment was to write the same anecdote from three different perspectives. Enjoy!
I got another piece published on The Mighty! If you’ve never heard of The Mighty, they’re a website that focuses on articles and stories about disabilities, disorders, diseases, mental health. I’ve been helped immensely from the site, comforted in finding people just like me: trying to survive and have a life despite my many obstacles. Definitely check it out! But first, here is the piece I wrote about how my chronic pain took away the great love of my life: dance
When the Aurora, Colorado shooting happened on July 20th, 2012, I was absolutely devastated. Obviously, I was saddened for the many people who lost their lives and were injured that night—I even had a friend who was also seeing The Dark Knight around the same time at another theater just a few miles away. But I was really upset about the fact that it happened in a movie theater.
Movies have always been really big in my family. Most of our dinner table discussions revolve around trading movie quotes back and forth or what movie we’ll see over the weekend. I even ended up getting a degree in film because those classes were the most interesting and fun for me. There’s nothing like seeing a movie in the theater. Nowadays it’s so easy to just stream or download movies but the atmosphere in a movie theater can never be reproduced. So when the shooting happened, my first thought was how one of my favorite places to go was no longer safe. In just a few minutes, someone ripped away the safety net. People send their teens to the movies because they know they aren’t running around, getting into trouble. They no longer have that peace of mind. Families can’t send their children off to school without worrying if they’re school is next.
I have never been more impressed with the teens of today than I have been with the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Florida seriously can’t catch a break, with the Pulse Night Club shooting a few years ago and now this. The stories you usually hear about teens these days are about a dumb Internet challenge or their social media addictions. The students of Parkland have gone through the worst thing they will ever experience, something no one should have to endure. One thing that really got me was that this school had just gone through “school shooting” training a few weeks before the Valentine’s Day shooting. It doesn’t matter how much training you can have, when you’re thrown into such an intense and horrifying situation, all hell breaks loose.
These kids are using this tragedy and their experience as a platform against gun violence. They are using their voice against the big bads of Washington to fight for what they deserve. They are challenging these lawmakers to step up in the name of people’s lives. The protests that happened this past Saturday were absolutely breathtaking. Seeing the amount of people of all walks of life protesting and standing up for gun control filled my heart up with so much joy. The speeches coming from some people as young as eight-years-old were so inspiring and were definitely heard all around the world.
A lot of people on the other side of the issue seem to think that the protesters want to be rid of suns entirely, but that’s not what they’re saying. We want gun reform. Changing the age of purchase—kids can fight in a war and shoot a gun before they can legally buy a drink or rent a car? Other reforms like having stricter background checks—especially when it comes to mental illness—as well as getting rid of semi-automatic guns that’s only true purpose is to kill. Some may say that after the protests, the issue will fade out by another thing Trump has said or done, but those people obviously don’t know persistence of youths. They are going to push and prod until something is done. They are the future voters who will change the world. These students are our future and they are fighting for justice and peace. I’m in awe.
I’m not going to lie, I still get scared when I go to the movies. As the lights go down and the trailers begin, there is a jolt of anxiety that rushes through my body. I take a look around and then settle down. It doesn’t stop me from going to the movies, or a concert, or any other place where there is a large group of people. I won’t let these people take away things that I love with fear.
Just want to leave you with one of my favorite moments from the march:
This song gets me EVERY. DAMN. TIME.
Thanks for reading my rant. Just somethings I needed to get off my chest.
I struggle a lot with organizing my thoughts when it comes to my book. I keep a word document open on my computer at all times. It’s basically a digital notepad. There is no rhyme or reason to its madness—I will just type whenever I get an idea whether it be about a character or a major plot point. When I’m not on my computer (which is rare) I use the notes app on my phone. I also use the notes app when I think of blog topics. That’s where you came from, “struggling with organizing book notes.” Helpful? Not so much. But if I don’t write it down right away I’ll lose it. Can’t rely on my brain to remember what I had breakfast let alone a random characteristic about some side character.
That’s why I struggle with writing in the first place. I have so many ideas and I can pin them down in a cohesive way. I have such a hard time starting a piece of work because halfway through writing down a thought, another one jumps in my brain and I get led on another direction. And then another. And then another.
So what I’m left with are random notes that are slapped on a page with no organization or method to their madness. I’ve searched online for organization templates but I feel like they are kind of a waste of time. Do any other fellow writers have this problem? Better yet, does anyone have any tools or tips to help me collect my thoughts in a more productive way?
Most people have one physical thing about themselves that they like: legs, calves, arms, smile. I have always loved my hair. It helps that people have been complimenting me on my hair since I was a toddler. Growing up, I basically looked like Snow White—very pale skin and VERY dark hair. So dark, that kids asked me in elementary school if I had blue hair. It was thick and curly, though the curls have calmed down into waves. Once, a woman came up to my mom at a toy store and asked if she had dyed my hair—at five-years-old!
My biggest problem when writing essays in school was always the beginning. I would have all these ideas, sometimes written out in notes or already in my word document. But as the minutes ticked on, I always came to a standstill—How do I start? How do I physically start to cohesively bring all my ideas together and put it to paper?