Write what you know?

As I brainstorm ideas for this humor article which my editor assigned 24 hours ago, I come along this simple piece of advice on the net: “Write what you know!” How marvelously straightforward! How deliciously uncomplicated! Write. What. You. Know. I can’t help but chuckle to myself. I am a grown woman with a myriad of academic, scholastic and sexual experiences. Furthermore, I am a sophomore, nay, a second-year at the University. A university we have fondly dubbed, with pride and definitely not desperation, a “Public Ivy.” I have taken classes taught by the greats, read the classiest of classics, and have had only two breakdowns this year. Write what you know? Hah! What don’t I know? What can’t I conquer? I am a woman unleashed, unbarred! A mere 600 words cannot contain me! I grin at my screen, hands poised above my keyboard, ready to unleash the Kraken.

After 48 minutes of staring into space, I am forced to conclude that the Kraken is, for lack of a better word, flaccid. My years of higher education have failed me. I have realized that the “greats” were really just “mediocres,” the “classics” was really just ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’, and I had 17 breakdowns not this year, but last week. This piece of advice has forced me to realize that I literally do not know anything.

My brain whirls frantically, trying to find a humorous topic that could be spun in a tidy 600 words. As the minutes tick by, I feel more and more like the village simpleton, and less like the glorious Amazon that I had envisioned myself as. Suddenly, I am taken with a brilliant idea! What if I roasted The Cavalier Daily Opinion section? That’s relatable, right? I start to think of titles like “Eat It Cav Daily Opinion Section!” and “Cav Daily Opinion Editor Found Out To Be A Word Generator!” I’m finally pushing the envelope. I’m going to be the one who makes the Cav Daily edgy, avant-garde. I’m going to make Cav Daily the next Variety, the next Rolling Stone! I am beyond elated. Unfortunately, after a long trip to the bathroom, I discover that my “original” and “edgy” ideas are from the latest edition of the Yellow Journal (email me).

Time is flying by. I am three hours in. I am getting desperate and dangerously sweaty. I have spent the past 20 minutes googling Nicolas Cage. Man, what hasn’t he done? From “National Treasure” to “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” Whatever happened to him? I spend the next 20 minutes watching a “Where Are They Now?” segment on the Hallmark channel. Fun fact: "Nicholas Cage is a Capricorn. Was I supposed to be doing something? Focus Veronica! I slam my computer shut and pull out a good old-school notepad. 

Ah, paper. Nothing like the smell of fresh, yellow paper to get your brain cells moving. I neatly write at the top: “THINGS I KNOW.” I pause for a moment. I center myself. And then it all comes out. I write about love and loss. I write about things unsaid and things not done. I write about my mild seasonal asthma. I write about the first Shrek, the second Shrek, the third Shrek, but NOT the fourth one. Dostoevsky who? Hemingway who? After two hours of feverish writing, I fall back in my seat, satisfied. The Kraken has risen.

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