Why can't I write?
Updated: Apr 15, 2020
Ugh! The amount of times I’ve started a blog is kind of ridiculous. At least to me. And here we do with attempt number 423940293840. I have a LOT of people around me sounding like a broken Nike commercial on repeat. “Just do it” “You got this” “You’re so good at it” “Make the time and just write”
Well, let me tell y’all something. Ya’ll are all raggedy!!! But, like a supportive raggedy. Like the supportive raggedy that I need to push me through every hesitation, every apprehension, and every false consequence that my little creative mind likes to make up that blocks my fingers from forming sentences.
So while I thank y’all, my insecurities want each and every one of you to know, “ya still raggedy.”
Now, why can’t I just write?
*Apple Music. Artists. Pimp C. Shuffle*
It all goes back to 4th grade, at Dishman Elementary when I sat staring at a blank sheet of paper for almost four hours asking myself that exact same question. Have you ever had a teacher literally go get your mom because she can’t figure out what is wrong with you? I have. Fourth grade was the first year we had to write an essay for the annual standardized test. In Texas at the time it was called TAAS (Texas Assessment of Academic Skills). And when I say they prepare you for that essay! They start in 3rd grade letting you know in one year you will have to spill your soul on two wide-ruled pages that will determine if you will every be anything in life…ever. At least that’s how it felt.
The prompt was, “Write a How-to Paper about a hobby.” What 8 year-old has a hobby?? Where? Which one? Point em out? Show me! (Okay, I recognize we live in 2020 and now 8-year olds have full businesses, but the point is. I was stuck) I come from a family that works. Our DIY activities were mowing the lawn, and cleaning the gutters, so hobbies or leisurely things weren’t in my top of mind. Ya girl sat there for the entire first half of the school day staring at blank sheet of paper. Not only did I not have a “hobby,” but I hated writing. Math was my thing. 1+1 always equals 2. Where you want me to put a comma is subjective. I don’t have time for that.
Anyway, my teacher went down the hall to get my mamma and tell her that her straight A, advanced, gifted and talented daughter had all of a sudden become completely illiterate. Now my mama is the kindest most loving woman and despite her confusion she promptly explained that there’s a think called writer’s block. This immediately helped me get out of my head because at least it wasn’t me. There’s a thing that happens to other people too, and they have a name for it. Cool, so my IQ didn’t just drop to nil. Then she looked at me and said, “Girl write about making pancakes. It don’t matter.”
And she was right, it didn’t matter. Needless to say, I aced the test with a perfect score. But I also swore off writing for the rest of my life. I decided that day I would stick to math and become an engineer to make my daddy proud. Y’all can keep whatever just happened when I looked at that blank sheet of paper, like for real. I didn’t every want to feel that feeling again.
And here we are.
So thank you George Bush for giving me my first anxiety attack and the sweet impressionable, tender age of 9.
Thank you God, for not laughing in my face about my engineering dreams, but kindly nudging me in the right direction despite the persistent kicking and screaming that would come in the next 18 years.
So if you see a typo, let’s call it subjective artistic expression and keep it moving. Preciatecha!
Now I’m not saying that the TAAS test scared other children as horribly as myself, but the following year they renamed it the TAKS test. *emoji shrug*