a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Writer’s Block …

Posted on: July 31, 2011

I cannot think of a more inopportune time to have writer’s block.  There are 17 days until my conversion and I need to write a personal statement.  Unlike pouring over mikvah accounts, I have decided not to read other blogger’s personal statements for a number of reasons.  First and foremost, we come to this place of becoming Jewish in different ways, for different reasons.  I suppose I’m not “blocked” as much as I’m having a hard time putting down what I’m feeling, what I’ve been through, what my expectations, hopes and dreams for my Jewish future into 5 minutes.

Rabbi L knew this would be a problem and it is.

4 Responses to "Writer’s Block …"

To sound like the English teacher that I am, have you tried brainstorming? Write a list of words down or use the mind mapping technique (bubbles linked to bubbles), or just freewrite for awhile with no expectation that anything will be usable, but that it might get you to a place where you can start writing. Good luck!

I had a problem with it for a while then I say down and eventually wrote 8 pages.

It’s overwhelming. How do I cram my entire life story, my essence and my soul into this document?!

1) Brainstorm. If you had an assigned topic, put it in a central bubble, and work out your points about it. If you have un-assigned topics you want to mention, put it in a bubble too. Then see where you can draw connections between the bubbles. I put individual bubbles on separate pages because I had so many ideas I wanted to get out. Go through a whole notepad if you have to; it’s okay.

2) Part of the difficulty for me was realizing that I needed to hand a 3 to 5 page document to the beit din. I finally decided to say screw it; I wrote 17 pages with the intention of trimming to 5 for them. After writing the 17 pages, I said screw THAT. The beit din got 17 pages (and my rabbi was on board with that). But, point being, write this for YOU. For YOUR story. YOUR journey, your struggles, your joys. Write for you. Not for someone else. Then make it for someone else by editing (selecting only the two or three sentences/the paragraph that explicitly answer the question.)

Ya’ll are great! It’s my mission today. I’ve written an entry on my blog, I’ve sent out a dozen resumes and the rest of the day is dedicated to writing my personal statement.

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