My brain is all a-scrambles.
I like writing. It helps me get all the clutter out of my head so that I can get my thoughts organized. When I really go at it, you can pretty much see the dust pluming out of my ears along with a stream of migrating spiders and a few tiny post-it notes. It's a personal meditation and clarifying process.
When I was younger, I loved essay tests and writing prompts because I felt like I had some kind of advantage. With hindsight, I now realize that that was a bit delusional, but in any case I enjoyed myself and my grades were good enough to get me into Cornell, so whatever, but still.
In the present day, however, just the thought of the GRE issue prompt makes my armpits all sweaty. My body hunches over and I tend to begin staring very hard at a single point in front of my face. It's weird. I have such strong opinions on nearly all 243 of these topics, but the simple act of beginning sees my brainwaves fade to snow. I responded to a question yesterday afternoon that called for evidence that I can rattle on about for hours (proven case). But when I realized that I needed a new introductory paragraph and went to sort it out, I just could not. I BSOD'd and crashed and then had to leave the room.
It's very hard for me to achieve a state in which my mind is totally clear. But in thinking through my approach to a lot of these topics, I often find that I've been sitting for whole minutes not thinking anything at all. In my meantime my breathing has grown shallow and quick and my mouth is hanging open.
I'm familiar with this psychological block-- it's been one of my most steady companions through 4 years of undergrad. Seriously, I wonder what it is I'm so afraid of.