Everyone experiences the infamous “writer’s block” at some point–be it in their high school English courses, college courses, or even established authors. It is most common during high school, as students are given narrow prompts with limited resource and minimal real-world application. It was one such time I had encountered the writer’s block.
It was during my freshman year of high school that I failed to turn in a paper because I refused to turn in a blank sheet. My class had gone through the first quarter of the year with no permanent instructor, and so we had little work to do. Once the permanent instructor arrived, we had to cover a whole year’s worth of honor’s course-work in three quarters. This did often involve writing papers every two or three weeks, and at that time it was on the most boring subject (Shakespearean poems) and I was very bad at writing anything. I don’t remember the prompt, but I and my classmates had to write a poem about ourselves. In that moment, I sat in the classroom, staring blankly for forty-five minutes at a piece of notebook paper. I was lost.
I stayed after school and tried to finish it on my own. I remember myself still staring, nothing written down, wanting to give up on it. My instructor (she was usually a mean pregnant lady, but what she did next was shocking) sat down next to me and asked me what I needed help with. I cried because no one had ever helped me with my English–I felt stupid if I asked for help, as if I was unable to utilize my own native language. I did finally get it written, yet I still managed to get a seventy-ish score.
That writer’s block made me realize that I was being given strict stipulations on bland five-paragraph essays that had no meaning to anyone but to test my grammatical education. It is why I now try to write my works as cleanly and detailed as possible, as there are now minimal restrictions to what I am permitted to write.