By Colleen Ladd, University of Central Florida
I remember the day I decided to apply for The New Student Union (NSU). Rereading my pieces as if they were freshly written and I had forgotten their contents, I gathered up my favorite samples to e-mail in to Alex Biles, co-founder of NSU. When I came to the request for a resumé, I had realized, embarrassingly enough, I didn’t even have one typed up to send in. I frantically searched online for a resumé template and flipped through the memory files in my head from previous jobs at little mom-and-pop restaurants all the way to my current job as a college bartender at the University of Central Florida. After smiling at an accomplished compilation of my life’s work and my well-written e-mail of interest, I clicked the send button and crossed my fingers.
I received an e-mail within two days and was told that, “Based on your resume and writing samples, we would love to have you on-board.” And based on that statement, I began to do my victory dance that I didn’t know I had in me. I was tickled to pieces knowing that someone, other than my mother or a close friend, had read my writing and enjoyed it! I felt very humbled knowing that I could possibly make someone out there in the world that I hardly even know crack a smile, shed a tear, or share a laugh.
But with great power comes great responsibility. After realizing this convicting statement, I shut down. I lost all capability of writing. Before this opportunity, I would pop open my MacBook Pro, head that little pointer on over to my Microsoft Word icon, click it open and begin to type away my thoughts, ideas, and words as if I were programmed by some outside force to do so. Instead, I traded in my skills of writing for a wrapped welcome basket of anxiety, stress, and pressure.
Writer’s block is something that happens to everyone, writer or not. But for the boldest of us that call ourselves writers, when we trip over those words called “writer’s block,” we trip into a darkness where there are no words at all. To be honest, I am even having a hard time writing this piece right now. I have twiddled my thumbs for the past four weeks and found more ways than one to entertain myself with Facebook, Twitter, even gravitating toward the ever-popular procrastinator’s website, StumbleUpon. I spoke with Alex Biles about how I seemed to have put immense pressure on myself to get a piece to him, and he has patiently waited.
So, today – Saturday, June 18, 2011 – I, Colleen Margaret Ladd, will be submitting a piece; a piece on how I do not know what to write about. Many people say “go big or go home”, and I feel that the lack of a topic for my first NSU piece is, in a sense, BIG. I am a college student with writer’s block that seems to have taken form of a brick on my chest, revoking me of my rights to turn my thoughts into witty articles. I’m also sending out a wanted ad. If anyone finds floating thoughts, letters, punctuation, clever innuendos, or perhaps even a few inappropriate jokes in your neck of the woods, please contact and return to Colleen Ladd at firstname.lastname@example.org. The reward will be an extremely, satisfied and relieved aspiring writer.