Procrastinating, Passion and Inspiration

Gia Falcicchio-Wall (’24) writes about the intersections between procrastination and passion. “Writing is a place where I feel I lay right in between the mindsets of procrastination and passion. It can take me a very long time to get started on a writing project, but once I’ve started the words will just spill out of my brain, into my fingers, which then type, type and type some more.”

Procrastination. Something everyone struggles with from time to time. Writing is definitely a major place where people fall victim to procrastination the most often. I know that as I slowly work on this blog post, I too am guilty of putting it off until the very last possible minute. 

There isn’t much rhyme or reason behind procrastinating. Sometimes I just don’t want to take the time to sit down and write; so I put it off. Maybe I am just lazy. Maybe I just need to be in a special mood to actually get work done, use my time wisely or even just be productive. 

As anyone who procrastinates does, I turn to Google. A quick and easy way to figure out answers to all of life’s burning questions; the same questions that I couldn’t be bothered to waste more than 10 minutes researching. So I open a new tab, hover over the search bar and I type “Why do I procrastinate so much”. With no question mark. That takes too much effort. I click enter and see all of the different words fill the page. 

All that I see are things that are “wrong” with you if you procrastinate. Oh you procrastinate? You must be depressed, anxious all the time, you don’t believe in yourself enough and your study habits must be awful. We can all agree that procrastinating isn’t a great habit and for sure has to do with your mental health, but there is so much more to it than that. 

Passion. Something everyone needs to have for something at some point in your life. Having a certain level of passion for what you are working on is what makes you want to be productive in finishing the assignment. If you have absolutely no passion or interest all together why even bother wasting valuable time towards it. 

Writing is a place where I feel I lay right in between the mindsets of procrastination and passion. It can take me a very long time to get started on a writing project, but once I’ve started the words will just spill out of my brain, into my fingers, which then type, type and type some more. But I get it, not everyone has the inspiration to pull out a pen and some paper and to start writing out of the blue. But what if you did? 

Inspiration. Something that is everywhere as long as you look for it. Look around the room you are sitting in right now. There has got to be something that you could stare at endlessly out of interest (or boredom). Pick up a pen and write about thoughts or feelings that need to be addressed. Even if you have an essay due at 11:59, when inspiration hits you, it hits you hard. If there’s something you want to write about, just do it! Don’t let deadlines or boring people get you down. 

Writing is a safe place for everyone to use to share passion and joy. Writing is a safe place for everyone to use to share struggles. As long as people keep writing, and enjoy doing so, passion for writing will never go away.

One take on one take writing

Lucius Webster (’23) meditates on the value of one take writing, “Your writing was meant to be, your writing was meant to exist, and then float away like a wish lantern.”

Anyway he told me, God’s plan is like a beautiful tapestry, and the tragedy of being human is that we only get to see it from the back. With all the ragged threads and the muddy colors. We only get a hint at the beauty of what would be revealed if we could see the whole pattern, on the other side. As God does. – Daredevil

It’s been some time since I’ve created the space. The time. The energy and the freedom to write like this. I sit here now surrounded by noise yet filled with my music, a poetry of its own. Clear minded and free. Shunning distractions is step one, and I don’t mean all the noise around you or the arguments, not even the birds chirping. I mean the mess of your emotions, the influenced actions, the hurt parts of you that are failing to acknowledge the beauty of your existence. So once again, Just breathe. In through your head out through your chest. Direct the motion of your air, the motion of your stress, control it. For you’re the only person that can. Step two, be honest, with your wrongs, your rights, your maybes and your ignorance. Be honest with the choices you have made for they make you who you are and you are beautiful. Now both of these steps may not come all the time, they might not fit into the everyday timeline and that is
ok. So, even though if you ask me I’ll deny I have one, this is my process. Oh, and the most important part, step three, the music. Though I guess it doesn’t have to be music, choose something that fills you with peace, with thought, not something to listen to or understand, just peaceful thought. Now if you have made it this far I hope you’re not still reading, and instead writing. Writing until your mind empties. Writing until you feel at peace with the hardships
you’ve overcome.

I’ll wait for you to finish…

Hopefully by the time you’ve come to a conclusion you read this instead of what you wrote. Your writing was not for your judgment, or anyone else’s. Your writing was meant to be, your writing was meant to exist, and then float away like a wish lantern. The more you read, the more your emotion changes, the more your judgment comes back, the judgment we spent so long eliminating. So if you have the time to finish your one take writing, try step four. Take your
laptop or piece of paper, put it away. In a place of closure turn your music up. And float away.

Float away where time doesn’t matter, where your stress is not real and improve yourself once more.

Lack of Representation

Agni Gupta (’24) writes about lack of representation in fantasy literature. “All the protagonists had similar traits to me but none of them truly reflected me, my family, or my heritage.”


I’ve lived my whole life surrounded by excellent fantasy series, people singing praise for great characters and greater worlds, great protagonists, and greater enemies. My friends always saw themselves in the pages, be it as Percy Jackson or Nancy Drew there was alway someone for them. I guess I did too, but not to the same degree. All the protagonists had similar traits to me but none of them truly reflected me, my family, or my heritage.

Most of my middle school years were spent reading Lord of the Rings, and if you look at me now, you can see the mark it left. I own a replica of the one ring, I wear it almost every day like a nerd but it’s probably one of my most prized possessions. Reading the books exposed me to different sorts of writing, separate from the countless YA novels I had previously consumed. I think one of the biggest draws was how removed from our world the story, the people, the
cultures, and the languages were. Granted I know more Quenya than I know Hindi and I can point out more places on a map of Middle Earth than I can for India, Lord of the Rings feels like home. A world with eons of history and miles of land to travel, to explore.

When the pandemic hit, I stopped reading and started writing. I locked myself into writing, building a story of a man of South Asian descent in a world of magic, running through plot after plot till I settled on one I liked. I repeat the process, with different stories; an Indian boy on his way to a summer camp where he’s destined to meet the love of his life, a south Indian girl in her first weeks of college having silent mutual jealousy for the guy who lives across the hall and a subtle crush on her roommate. A man named Dev Dhawan who dies, leaving his time-traveling boyfriend to solve the mystery. I had so many ideas for stories centering people like me that it’s almost overwhelming, but I’ll make it work, for the future, for kids like me.

Why You Should Write: Telling Your Own Story

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By: Alison MacGillivray
Second-Year Tutor + Writing Center Co-President

In my humanities class, we learned about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. We watched her TedTalk on the dangers of a single story. She grew up in eastern Nigeria, but upon coming to the United States to continue her education, she was disappointed when there was only one narrative being told about Africa: Africans were impoverished, ill, and sad. It was a drastic comparison to the US, where people were perceived as innovative, intelligent, and healthy. Adichie shared her frustration about the misconceptions, but in a sense, she understood. She explained that if she grew up in America rather than Nigeria, she would also believe the popular stories. The stories focused on stunning safari landscapes, but mostly on starving children, victims of AIDS, and villages waiting for white saviors. She cites this misconception as a result of Western Literature and then the beginning of Africa’s European narrative. She began to tell her own story of growing up in Nigeria, and when her American professors told her that her stories weren’t “authentic” enough to Africa, she rolled her eyes. She knew her own story and wasn’t going to let a white folks tell her to change it.

She brings up the idea of single stories. These are stories that eliminate your accomplishments, your good days, your bad days, and reduce you to a singular moment. A person’s identity is washed away when we promote the idea of a single story. The question is often raised among my peers: “Why should I tell my story? No one wants to hear it.” My answer has always been the same. “You matter. I want to read your story.” That is a cliche response, though, and the recipients know that. Adichie has given me a new perspective and a new answer to give.

As a teenager in high school, it is easy to be represented by a single story. Teenagers are lazy. We’re messy. We don’t sleep well, we don’t try hard, and we aren’t as good as the generations before us because we don’t walk uphill both ways to school through 10 feet of snow… in the sleet when it’s 10 below. Celsius. We know that teenagers are not defined by these ideas. By sharing your story, you are helping to break this idea.

These stories become increasingly dangerous for students when they are restricted to smaller scaled ones. There are stories of how black students, AP students, and disengaged students are within an academic setting. School performance, race, age, gender do not impact one’s personal story. By producing and promoting your own story, you are successfully breaking this cycle. Students have so many stories just waiting to be told, and my role as a tutor has enlightened me on this. Our school’s curriculum limits assignments that allow these stories. I’ve seen the most creative work in Moth stories, but these aren’t assigned to upperclassmen. When it is time for juniors and seniors to write college essays, an initial excitement arises until the students realize that their audience is looking for specific qualities and specific answers. Once again, creativity is stripped away. An assignment cannot possibly promote creativity when it has a restrictive rubric.

Still, I encourage everyone to write. While there isn’t much time to write in a teenager’s busy life, it’s not impossible. When a thought comes to mind, open the Notes app and type it out. Scribble it on the back of math homework. Or, go further and use a journal. It doesn’t have to be expensive or new. Every night, write down a quick summary of your day or what you find most thought-provoking at that moment. I know each and every student in my school has a story to share. Everyone must find value in their own writing and in their own stories.

Tutoring Without A Rubric: Creative Writing in the Writing Center

Many tutors feel that helping writers with creative work is too personal, but it is possible with focused training and a different mindset.

By: Savanna Cowley (’20)
First-Year Tutor

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If you were to approach any tutor within the Skyline Writing Center, they would probably tell you that they consider themselves a creative writer. Whether it be fiction, poetry, songs, or any other writing that isn’t turned in for a grade, more often than not, those people who live to help others with reading and writing pursue it outside of an academic setting.

While this may be true, many tutors are uncomfortable when a student comes into the Writing Center with a creative piece, or feel that pieces of this nature are not supposed to be tutored. According to a study done by the University of South Florida, 16 of the 61 people surveyed claimed that there is no training that could be done to prepare a tutor for assisting with creative pieces, two of them saying that it was impossible to tutor these writers. Many tutors feel that helping writers with creative work is an invasion of privacy, claiming that it is writing that is too personal and an outside glance would be damaging to the author and the piece itself.

It is important to understand that all writing is creative, and is, therefore, possible to tutor. The key to this form of tutoring is a shift in the framing of the piece; tutoring without a rubric can seem daunting, but only requires the tutor to take part in creative thinking as well.

Here are some simple ways to assist creative writers with their work:

  • Always ask the writer what they feel could be improved within their own work. While it is true that they are looking for feedback from an outside eye, it is also important to let them keep ownership over this extremely personal piece. It feels different from tutoring an academic paper because it is; there aren’t guidelines to follow, so finding issues and tweaking them isn’t as simple as we may believe. Asking the writer what they feel are major issues allows them to have complete control over their story and language.
  • More often than not, they are struggling to find the emotion that they feel the audience should be experiencing when reading their work. Ask them what they intend for the reader to feel or think.
  • From there, offer insight into what you feel as you read the piece: are you able to easily follow the plot? What do you believe their intent is, observing their diction and syntax? In other words, treat it like a story you’re reading in English class and analyze it (as a creative writer myself, other people analyzing my work makes me feel all the more established as a writer, so it would give them a major confidence boost).
  • Try not to worry about small issues, like grammar and sentence structure, until the bigger comprehension issues are addressed.

The purpose of creative writing is self-expression, not to seek perfection in the eyes of a teacher or superior. Keeping this in mind truly opens a gateway to fluid imagination and conversation, not only for the writer but for the tutor as well.

Works Cited

Cassorla, Leah F. “Tutor Attitudes toward Tutoring Creative Writers in Writing Centers.” University of South Florida Scholar Commons, Scholar Commons, 2004.

Purdue Online Writing Lab. “Tutoring Beginning Poets // Purdue Writing Lab.” Purdue Writing Lab, Purdue University, 1995-2018.