by Noa (’16)
If you’re anything like me, you may come across a point in your life when you find yourself staring at a blank document or notebook page or Textedit (your free Word trial ran out), with an assignment due tomorrow and absolutely no idea what to write about.
You probably feel a bit drained, as if your supply of writer juice has magically evaporated into thin air and all that is left is a crumpled little shell of a person, banging your head against your desk in frustration and hating your brain and hating everything, especially other writers who probably have loads of writer juice stocked in the shelves of their brain while you don’t and it’s unfair and life is unfair and you should probably quit and just move to Canada because it’s only going to go downhill from here. Unfortunately, science has not yet discovered a cure for such thoughts, although there are a few websites that I have stumbled across on the internet (while procrastinating from said writing assignments), that I’ve found very useful:
http://oneword.com/ gives you a one-word writing prompt and sixty seconds to type down any ideas that pop into your brain. It’s awesome because it’s much less intimidating than staring at a blank document— you don’t have to worry about if what you’re writing is good or bad (you only have a minute, after all.) Also, once you’re done writing, your work can be published (don’t worry, you can do it anonymously, or you can use your real name) and you get to look at what other people have written too. There are all types of people on the site, some experienced and others not so much, and their writing alone may be enough to spark a little bit of inspiration.
http://thestorystarter.com/ generates a random sentence for you to start your story with, and it’s (probably) not cheating because the sentence is generated randomly, so technically (maybe) it’s not plagiarism. Okay, I wouldn’t recommend copying the sentence word for word, but it’s definitely a great source for inspiration, and a lot of the sentences are weird enough to come up with some awesome plot ideas.
And remember, “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life… Besides, perfectionism will ruin your writing, blocking inventiveness and playfulness and life force (these are words we are allowed to use in California).”- Anne Lamott
“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something—anything—down on paper. A friend of mine says that the first draft is the down draft—you just get it down. The second draft is the up draft—you fix it up.”- Anne Lamott