Since Mark Twain was quoted saying “write what you know”, it’s been literature professor’s go-to reassurance for those with writer’s block. I have since refurbished this aphorism as “write what you feel passionately about”.
Transforming from something that you know, to something that you are passionate about is much more accurate in my book. What about love? What happens what an award-winning, acclaimed writer publishes his/her diction on the trials between heartbreak and tragedy. Do we know love? Can we explain it well enough that it can be so accurately defined? No we can’t. But if we feel enough emotion about certain topics, I believe we all harness the remedy of writer’s block.
I bring up this topic in this blog today because I was struggling. I am a UCF Advertising and Public Relations major at the University of Central Florida taking a class in the ability to utilize social media as much more than sharing what one had as breakfast this morning. Social Media is much more commonly used as mass communication in a world of technology dependent human beings. This blog that I publish on once every two weeks serves as a grade in my class. I am graded on my ability to blog about whatever I want as long as it aids in the development of my professional portfolio. That is why it is so common for me to rant about ads that are being seen, YouTube channels, or the development of myself as a scholar. It goes hand-in-hand with my major.
But now, I catch myself at a road block. I am stuck sitting in front of an open “New Post” page with nothing to write about for a week and a half. Now, it is 2 days before my assignment is to be submitted and now, I have passion.
This passion has stemmed from my motivation to succeed. Like any college student I worry more about grades than what I am supposed to be putting on my dinner plate every single night. In the University of Central Florida, the Advertising and Public Relations major is restricted. Meaning one would have to meet certain criteria in order to be accepted to the major and be able to take restricted electives which are mandatory for graduation.
As one would know if they read my blog, I came into this university as an “undeclared” major. What does this mean? It means one who has not yet decided on a degree to peruse; or in lay terms, someone who is simply lost. I was lost, having a 5.3 GPA in high school with credits in AP and AICE courses; I could have gone anywhere I wanted to. I chose UCF. Just because.
Regardless, I was matched by a personality test that I would be most suited for the Advertising or Public Relations field, and after doing research, I applied for the program.
That was two years ago. Two years ago, I applied for admission to this restricted major. I submitted a piece of paper with the simplest of information regarding my cumulative GPA and the hours I have recorded in my transcripts. Getting accepted for the second round of applicants, I was surprised that I was to write a proctored essay. I was surprised but I was excited. If there is one thing I have faith in, it is my writing. I am not the type to reiterate “to begin with”, “in addition”, or “in conclusion”. I am the type to type furiously and passionately upon subjects. I am opinionated, and I harness the belief that writing is just a reflection of your thoughts that you can use spell check for.
Spoiler alert! I did not make it into the major based upon my essay.
You can imagine the grief that I felt. Being so utterly confident in myself could have possibly been my downfall. I didn’t meet the standards for the preconceived essay guidelines based on Dawn dish soap. I wrote primarily in accordance with the public relations field. I wrote about crisis management and target audiences. Apparently that was just too far-fetched and wrong according to the department heads that choose the winners.
Coordinating with others who applied and wrote their essay on the same subject matter that I did, I compared. And the ones that were successful shocked me. According to them writing on Crisis Management was just too specific, and they thought it would have been much more useful to reiterate the definition of an advertisement. I was obviously furious. I was nixed for understanding the concepts just a little too well.
Two years later, I did some research, found the broadest topics in the field and made them even broader.
So I took the essay again one week ago and was outstandingly shocked to hear the news again. My essay just didn’t meet the level that an accepted student would need to enter the major. This time, however, I went into the proctored essay room so confident in myself because, this time, I was chosen to write about Chipotle’s, the Scarecrow ad. This advertisement made such an impact on my life the moment I saw it and just reinforced that this is what I want to do for a living. I want to be able to make an audience feel a certain way through advertisements. I want to make consumers devoted and loyal to a company through the use of values and marketing techniques.
You would think that this passion would translate well through writing an essay, since I have already stated that the only successful writing technique is harnessing passion towards your topic, but I guess I fell short once again.
Now I have even more passion regarding this issue. I find myself, a junior at this university and still pending with the major of my dreams. Winston Churchill stated “never, never, never give up”. I once was a confident scholar with faith in every single project or assignment that I have turned in, and now I possess a new feeling of self-doubt. What if I fail again? What will that do for my graduation date?
These questions go unanswered. I have gotten this assignment done for my class by writing about my writing not being “good enough”.