The following is an unedited, stream-of-consciousness personal journal used to experiment with different subjects outside of assignments and to practice free-writing. It shouldn't (at all) be viewed as a portfolio of polished work.

To see examples of my professional writing, please visit For photography, please visit or my Instagram channel @ginabegin.

412 Words on Not Being Brilliant

Every morning I'm surrounded by windows framing a sky. Minute by minute, a layer of blue is lifted until a starless, aqua color remains. Sometimes I'm conscious that time is passing. I can hear the day beginning for others; street noise growing as the sky lightens.

Other times, I don't see or hear anything—I'm buried in words.

I wish every day were the latter.

Man, if only I were brilliant: a fast writer with a quick wit and the power to command ideas to spill onto the page. But I'm slow. I edit as I go along—a sin for writers—and even when I love a topic, I find my progress comes with a halting pace, constantly stopping short in a search for more words.

Get me talking about a subject and I can go on and on if I really care about it. But this one-way conversation thing is difficult. There is no injection of opposing views, no alternate perspectives to ramble over, not even a nod of a head of "mmhmm" to remind me that I'm talking to others.

Writers often do best in solitary, in those early morning hours when no one is there to interrupt. But I wonder how they keep the ideas flowing. I wonder why other writers produce constant brilliance when it takes me hours to wrap up one post, or days to finish one article.

And, though the numbers are probably less, there are still many writers who have the ability to dive deep into a subject, while I feel a lot of what I write is just surface. Fluff. Internet filler.


This blog sat untouched for a number of months at a time. True, I was too busy for it, but in another aspect, I was also worried about what I was putting into the world. I was worried about being part of the crowd that produces unceasing clickbait content and publishing thoughts that didn't affect anyone's day.

Maybe that's just me, but I wanted—no: I want—to produce something deeper.

And now the windows are framing the sun, just rising over the mountain next to me. Logging trucks are downshifting, their engines straining noisily to keep up speed on the uphill. The neighbors are piling kids into their car for school. All this light, all this noise. This is my signal that it's time to put away reflections of living deeply and join in the noise of the day.

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