By in Persona Paper

Open Topic

Have you ever received an assignment that you've always wanted, but when the time came to do it you drew a blank?

Case in point: I love to write. My office has several notebooks I have used over the last thirty years in which I've jotted down fragments of dialog, character sketches, or entire pages of one story or another. I came across one I used ten years ago when I was putting together a novel based on some of the role play chat rooms I used to frequent. It was a core group of five or six people from around the country playing 'yes, and'. All of us just taking the piss out of one another. Five or six handwritten pages, about 1500 words I threw down in the space of a slow day at work. The point being, it just flowed out.

Now that I've returned to school to pursue my nursing degree, I'm sitting in English composition classes. One would think that for an amateur writer this would be an easy A. Not so fast. The most dreaded assignment I've received so far is the 'Final paper, seven pages, open topic' um...huh? I've sat at my computer for three hours (minus the time it's taken me to write this slightly panicked post). I have three or four paragraphs of wandering mumblings. This is going to be fun.

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acelawrites wrote on September 12, 2014, 5:18 PM

You can do it; when ideas came flowing in, it's so easy. Good luck!

Scorpie wrote on September 12, 2014, 6:35 PM

Why giraffes were never selected as helper animals for the blind. How did water become a bottled beverage bonanza?

Sugar is more addictive than cocaine. Why do cars go 200mph when the speed limit is 65?

Cats purr to condition your behavior, not because they're happy.

Monday is the only day I want my hair cut.

A scorpion can hold it's breath for 6 days.

allen0187 wrote on September 12, 2014, 7:44 PM

Happens to the best of us. I see Scorpie put up great writing prompts. Should be fun!

Feisty56 wrote on September 12, 2014, 9:54 PM

Open topic makes it a much tougher assignment than to have a suggested topic, at least to my way of thinking. I think you should move away from the computer and stop thinking about the assignment for a bit. Take a bath, go for a walk -- just anything that doesn't take a lot of deep thought. The ideas will present themselves when you stop trying so hard. I wish you well on your assignment.

LoudMan wrote on September 13, 2014, 9:42 PM

This actually sounds fun. You mean they let you write on any topic? Or, is it supposed to be whatever flows?

waywrdmedic wrote on September 14, 2014, 9:22 AM

Open source: anything my greedy heart desires. I ended up writing ten pages on homebrewing. More specifically the last hundred years from the temperance movements through prohibition to the legalization of home brewing in 1978

LoudMan wrote on September 14, 2014, 9:59 AM

Seriously, Scorpie , those topics are fascinating. No joke.

*Side-note* The first bottled water sold in America was "Evian." Spelled backwards, that becomes "naive." And, I thought cats purred because they're full of bees and elves. Who knew?

Ruby3881 wrote on October 2, 2014, 2:42 AM

The problem with those assignments is always choosing a topic! Once you think of a good subject, I'm sure you'll have no trouble planning and drafting your essay :)

Kasman wrote on October 3, 2014, 4:48 PM

Your definition of 'fun' differs somewhat from mine! It sounds like you are having a bit of a nightmare time of it.

LeaPea2417 wrote on December 21, 2015, 8:24 PM

That has happened to me before. I do hope you come back here to write and interact with the posts.