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The blog is a great place to share your writing in a casual setting or communicate your experience with other students and help us to build an English community here on campus! We accept 250-750 word posts on any English related topic, but we also post monthly prompts for inspiration! If you are interested in being published on the ESA blog, please send your blog post to englishstudents@uvic.ca with “blog submission” in the subject line.

Writing with Writer’s Block

By Kira Keir

I always used to write. No one could keep me from writing down my ever-changing thoughts, my never-ending stream of consciousness. I was constantly writing, but what am I doing now? I only write long after I am supposed to. I no longer write for fun—honestly, sometimes I feel like I no longer write at all.

I have a friend whose dream is to help change the world’s perspective. Little does he know he has long had this gift to help others experience a more real and subsequently beautiful way of life. He once told me that motivation will not come to you. It is something you must exercise every day so that you might ingrain yourself with a better version of yourself. You are more than your failures—and more than your fleeting successes. You can be so much more. You need to keep pushing yourself and forge motivation rather than waiting for the impossible to happen.

So here I am, with pen to page—or rather fingers to keys—ready to start making good habits. I want to write, that much is true. I want to succeed. 

Writer’s block is so much more than getting stuck. It is continual digging. Burying myself along the way. And when things start to settle, I am reminded that the world and all my loved ones are moving on without me. Without me?

So, here’s my start.

When you experience writer’s block, what do you do? Next time you find yourself in this situation, remember that it’s okay if you don’t write today—try again tomorrow. Pace yourself; if you expect to write for a deadline, and only a deadline, you won’t have the opportunity to make your writing your own. If you feel rushed, your creativity can be overlooked.

Take a breath. Free yourself from distractions. Allow yourself to take breaks. Often, we feel pressured to write and think only about producing rather than creating. As someone who describes myself as a passionate writer, I sometimes dread sitting down to write and leave my projects until the last minute. Due to my procrastination, much of my work feels rushed, and I don’t leave time to make my writing into something I am proud of. 

Don’t settle. That’s something I had to learn the hard way as all of my assignments met the requirements, but they didn’t sound like my writing—at least not something I would be proud of. Push yourself to go beyond expectations and prove what you are capable of to the world.

Give yourself time to write and make it a part of your routine. It’s okay to start slow as long as you constantly move forward, improve your skills, and learn how to love writing again. As students, we need to make sure we are maintaining our mental health, studies, and relationships; I propose that we prioritize our passions and the reclamation of our writing.

Good luck and keep writing, my friends.

2021 Poetry Contest Winner – Zoë Nilson’s “morning”

The ESA proudly presents “morning” by Zoë Nilson as the winning poem of the ESA’s Fall 2021 Poetry Contest. 

morning

not always, but some days
I wake up feeling new.
nestled in these sheets, I rise
careless, but not clumsy.
no one awake in this tight, tight house
only me, robed in fresh light
daybreak’s armistice

my mind rolls out like fog over hills until

a door slams, lovers howl
a brutal reminder of this suffocating company
cacophonous in its casualties, my heart tightens rudely
waxing and waning for some kind of emptiness

so I slip out the door, before the prickles and horns
sprout from my back, skull-tearing acrimony
for words that only serve to fill the empty space
that hangs there, perfectly vacant.

the house burns behind me
imploding energy, eclecticism, eating themselves
but not me,
molding into destined desolation

not always, but most days.

2021 ESA Writing Contest Winner – Maya Linsley’s “Waiting Room”

The waiting room crackles. Not in an excited way; just stale. Kind of like everyone there is still recycling the versions of themselves they brought in last time. If you really think about it, you probably know most of them; there’s that old man with the plastic foot brace, and there’s that woman with the … Continue reading 2021 ESA Writing Contest Winner – Maya Linsley’s “Waiting Room”

Reader’s Block

The holidays have always been my favourite time to catch up on all the books I say I am going to read and never even attempt to pick up during the school year. However, in recent years, even that goal has become formidable at times. Studying English tends to turn reading into work, no matter … Continue reading Reader’s Block

McCrae House National Historic Site of Canada.

“In Flanders Fields”: How Canada Remembers

In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row,     That mark our place; and in the sky     The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,     Loved and were loved, and now we lie,         In … Continue reading “In Flanders Fields”: How Canada Remembers

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Welcome to the ESA BLoG

The ESA blog features posts written by UVic undergraduates, grad students, alumni, and faculty.