Editorial Notebook

Getting back to writing

The blinking cursor on an empty page is currently my enemy. In the past eight months, I have finished and published one article for The Polytechnic. This isn’t due to a lack of ideas or lack of time—I’ve beat countless video games in the same span.

I know it's ironic, me writing about my inability to write; hopefully, if I can finish this article, it will help kickstart me into writing again. I truly miss writing, but I can’t get in the groove. My Google Drive is full of articles I want to write but each is only a summary or maybe a sentence. I have tried to revisit them, but I always end up replacing the sentences and then getting stuck.

I know one of the reasons I haven’t gotten through an article is because I expect my articles to be perfect. When I first started writing for The Poly, I accepted that I was going to make mistakes and that it was okay to have a page full of copy errors. Now that I have been the editor in chief and have copy read probably hundreds of articles, I feel ashamed if there are corrections on my article. I know most of the things I have to do to make a great article, and I feel like a letdown if I burden someone else to correct the mistake I know I made. I know this is silly, but I can’t get it out of my head. So, I’m trying something new: not caring. I know there are mistakes, and I can see some as I’m writing now, but I know The Poly has an amazing staff that will correct them for me.

Last fall, I burned out hard. The combination of four semesters in a row, searching for a co-op, being EIC, and not being able to socialize due to Covid destroyed me. Towards the end, I was counting down the days until I wasn’t EIC anymore and could turn off notifications for The Poly. Then I started my co-op, and if I wasn’t working at my job, I wanted to relax. During this time, there were many articles I wanted to write, but every time I sat down to do so, the blank page intimidated me and, eventually, I closed the tab. I helped cover Grand Marshal week, but I purposefully took a back seat so the next generation of The Poly could gain experience.

The first sign that I was willing to return to writing was the energy I felt when President Jackson announced her retirement. Not because she was retiring, but because it was the first time I had the drive to finish an article. This peak faded away as I became focused on finishing my co-op, but it was just the start. Returning to school was an amazing experience. Seeing everyone, being able to reconnect with friends, and finally meeting people in person who I have talked to for a year just felt wonderful. On top of that, finally being able to meet in-person for Poly events just makes me happy and gives me the urge to finally break out of my slump and write.

So, here’s to the start of many more articles. I have so much to share.