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Ciara Knisely

Writing About Writing

by Ciara Knisely | Jun 09, 2017

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to write. I am fascinated by the construction of sentences, the sounds of words, and the art of written language.

And for what seems like forever, I’ve been in a total slump. My brain has no fictional stories to tell. After interviewing countless people for the Oak Leaves, it seems that now I only know how to tell stories about other people. I’ve hardly written anything just for fun throughout my two years at Manchester. Definitely nothing worth sharing.

Until now, of course, as I actively write to you all about my frustrations about writing. What a paradox, right?

So, I’ve decided this blog will be a sort of writing therapy for me. Writer’s Rehab. Maybe I can get that stream of wordswordswords flowing in my brain again.

As an English major with a writing concentration, I can assure you that my situation is quite maddening. The poems I wrote used to scream out at me, itching at me until I got the lines down on paper. Now, I desperately want to feel the excitement of beautiful words flowing from my fast-moving fingers on the keyboard and onto my virtual paper. Instead, the click-clacking of my typing is only driving me insane.

Can I even claim writing as a hobby anymore? I know I’m not a failure; I can write a darn good essay. But if it’s any more creative than this blog post, my brain just calls it quits. In fact, even this is a struggle to think of what to say. It’s like a switch turned off, and now my creative veins run dry. I need some sort of transfusion.

 How did great writers in history think of their ideas? How do they think of them now? Is there a way to make yourself have more ideas?

Seems unlikely. Maybe I am only meant to dream of having dreams, to write about writing.

This coming fall semester I’m taking Creative Writing with Beate, and I’m terrified. What if I can’t write enough content? What if I disappoint her?

I can only hope that the course forces my writer’s block to subside. I’m praying that whatever skills I had before come rushing back. I have two years of recreational writing to catch up on.

I’m slowly coming to terms with the idea that maybe I’m just not interested in writing fiction anymore, and I keep telling myself that it isn’t a bad thing, even though I spent my elementary, middle, and high school years dreaming of all the fictional stories I’d write one day.

Instead, I’m taking pride in the work I write about real life. Sadly, there are no dragons or ancient Irish myths involved, but I am starting to find the magic within this reality of mine. I’m inspired by the people I’ve met and their stories that I’ve told, and my dreams are shifting from novel writing to uncovering and reporting on the next Watergate scandal.

Maybe the truth is that the fictional world has started to bore me. I’m more enchanted by the magic I can find in the world around me. 

Ciara Knisely ’18 is an English-Creative Writing major and Journalism minor, and hopes to continue her writing career in the future. She spends her time working at the Writing Center on campus and is a Co-Editor of the Oak Leaves newspaper.

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