Every time I sit down to write something of importance – something more than a work email, or a solution to a physics problem – I default to a process that I discovered to be effective about two years ago. Currently, I write to get a grade on a paper. While this may seem pathetic, I try to make the most out of it; it’s the only time I have to write. To discover. Upon receiving the prompt, my mind circles endlessly with ideas and inspiration. For nearly two days, I will actively live my life analyzing what it throws at me, and how it could or could not relate to the piece I have to write. I wait and wait and wait for inspiration to hit me like a truck. It is then, that I know.
With the idea fresh in my head, I run to the Espresso Royale on South University. I put on my glasses, let my body fall into the plush booth below me, and wrap my hands around the warm glass of my Spanish Latte. I take a deep breath in, savoring how perfect this moment is – the last calm breath before the roaring wave of words and ideas crashes on to my laptop.
I plug my white ear buds into my ears, turn on classical French music and let any thought that I have flow through my body, to my fingers, and onto my keyboard. The person next to me must think that I am just pressing random letters on my laptop, as my fingers are moving faster than ever. I keep writing until I feel that I have found an answer to my question; this will normally take at least four or five pages of writing. However, once I have found this, my most tedious task is complete. I wrap up the piece with a haphazard conclusion and shut my laptop, knowing that tomorrow I will snip, rearrange, and beef up the essay. Better yet, I walk away feeling satisfied. I got a very good start to a pressing assignment and – better yet – I have written about something that interests me. Through this process, I obtain a greater meaning. Whether I’m leaving Espresso Royale with an answer, or just a better understanding of a concept, I am content in what I accomplished.