This is Only the Beginning: Solving the Unsolvable Puzzle of Writing

By: Emily Goldberg  |  April 2, 2024

By Emily Goldberg, Publication Manager and Layout Editor

As a high schooler, writing was my worst enemy. Words did not come easily to me. In fact, they often frustrated me. In my mind, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to say, but when I tried to translate my thoughts onto paper, my sentences never seemed to make any sense. 

Struggling to put my thoughts and emotions into words is an extremely heart-wrenching feeling. When others couldn’t understand my writing, I felt as if they couldn’t understand me.

Writing was a puzzle that I just could not solve. 

Writing assignments became the most dreaded activity on my to-do list. I remember countless nights sitting at my childhood desk staring at the essays I had been working on for weeks. The only thing I had to show for the effort I had put in were the tears I cried in place of absent words.

I wanted to be a good writer – to truly make an impact with my words. I could feel the spark inside me, I just didn’t know how to make it come to life. 

Then, I found journalism. 

Before I joined my high school newspaper staff, one of the only formal experiences that I had with writing were the essays that I wrote for English class. Although I enjoyed a majority of the books that I read in school, it was very hard for me to formulate arguments about topics that I did not have a strong opinion on. 

When I discovered journalism, it was like I had entered a whole new universe. 

Journalism is unique because it gives the writer an opportunity to investigate and bring awareness to the topics that matter most to them. When you are passionate about the subject you are writing about, words come easier to you because they are a part of you. As a journalist, I was not just composing an essay. Rather, I was writing from the heart. At that moment, the words that I had struggled for so long to find would not stop flooding my mind. 

When one discovers what it is they are passionate about in life, they won’t be able to stop delving into it no matter how hard the journey sometimes gets. I still sit here struggling over every word of this article, only now with an appreciation for the fact that dedicating yourself to that which you love is a lifelong endeavor. Only one day, one may find what once was a distant dream is actually an attainable reality. 

However, with my newfound love of writing came the unavoidable voice in my head that critiques every single aspect of my articles. My journalism professor always has to remind me that “journalism is not an exercise in perfection.” No matter how critical we are of our writing, journalists must accept that sometimes, imperfections are inevitable. Yet, we know that we cannot allow the most painful struggle of the writer to silence our voices. On the contrary, it must encourage us to keep working on our writing but never hinder us from sharing our crucial stories with others. 

Journalism is now my new perspective of the world. Simply walking down the street becomes an opportunity to write – everything around you can spark the imagination. Journalism is remarkable in that it makes the world your oyster because all that surrounds you is an article, a story waiting to be shared with others. 

As a journalist, I have come to appreciate the fact that writing is sometimes an unsolvable puzzle, yet one that I will dedicate the rest of my life trying to figure out. A journalist’s most crucial role in this world is striving every day to find the best words with which to construct their sentences. The betterment of society relies on the passion of the journalist who will never give up hope. Even if words will never truly encompass all that the journalist feels inside, striving to find the best way to convey a message to the reader is a must. 

Therefore, the inner journalist in me always wants the last sentence of my articles to be grand, to leave my reader with a message, something to contemplate. However, the beauty of journalism as a profession is that it does not have grand endings. No matter how hard it is, journalists cannot stop writing. There is always something more for the journalist to say, always improvement to strive for in the world, because through writing, journalists bring to light injustices that otherwise would go unnoticed. 

So perhaps it is there, in the yearning for change, where the true triumph of the journalist lies. Yet, for us, this is only the beginning.