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A Note To Self: If You Don’t Feel Like Writing, Write Anyway.

post-it-i

I almost didn’t share anything on this space today. Almost being the operative word. I wish I could blame that on the traditional existential angst that often accompanies Mondays. No, this wasn’t a case of the Monday blues. I had a pretty chilled weekend and both Manchester United and Lewis Hamilton won over the weekend so unlike most Monday’s before I was in a good mood. The day itself started off positively and I set about to attack the day with much fanfare and vigour. But through all that positivity I hadn’t made a plan as to what I was going to write about today and when, as I have previously done. I thought I would just wing it. I was wrong, because halfway through the day I and managed to talk myself out of writing. Or so I thought.

Earlier when I had resigned myself to not writing for this blog it was mainly because I didn’t feel I had anything meaningful, informative or even insightful to share today. So I told myself I would put it off until tomorrow when hopefully I would have something more tangible to work with. But here I am writing. Why? Because the internal guilt of not writing today proved to be too much of a burden to bear than say writing about nothing in particular. And so here I am succumbing to my own guilt. If I had gone through with the decision to give myself an unscheduled ‘off day’ it would have been the first time in three weeks that I wouldn’t have shared anything on this blog on week day. Three weeks ago I set about on a journey to write as consistently as possible. The aim is to write every week day for six weeks. Only after six weeks would I reevaluate and set new goals for my writing. But here I was halfway through that journey patting myself on the back and haggling with myself. Prior to today I was doing OK. I was focused. I was motivated and I was following through almost effortlessly on my personal goals. I was comfortable in my routine and I never plan for days like today when that carefully crafted routine would be challenged. Even though I knew there would be days like this I never planned for that eventuality and I almost broke that routine.

When I was making the case to myself for taking the day off my reasoning was that I deserved it for the consistency that I have shown over the last three weeks, even though it was not part of the plan. Today being a Monday it would not have just been a day of though. It would have been my third consecutive day off taking into account my scheduled weekend off. It was the worst possible day to even consider taking off. It was a slippery slope that I was about to let myself go down. The more I thought about this the more I didn’t trust myself not to end up on some unintended sabbatical from this space. It’s not too long that ago that I remember struggling a great deal to get back into writing after I had let my pen fall asleep on the page for too long. It’s so easy to break the routine, but so much harder to start all over again. And it usually starts with rationalising that it’s just one day and before you know it a day turns into a week, and a week into months.

Whilst I am proud of and acknowledge the work and the progress I’ve made to get to three weeks I am not going to rest on my laurels just yet. I set a goal for myself to write consistently for at least six weeks and that is what I intend to do, even if on days like today its means writing about nothing. It is also a realisation that not all days are going to be the same and that days like this are the ones I allow myself to grow. It also means I am slowly mustering the willpower to do things I know I have to even though I might not always feel like it. And even though at times today it felt easier not, it always feels so much better to have written.

On the days you don’t feel like writing those are the days that it’s even more important to write. A luta continua. The struggle continues.

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Have You Seen Her

When I started writing again, I was happy. I was doing it without fear or hesitation or worry. The ideas and the energy just seemed to flow right through. Just like that I was writing. I was in my zone. I had found my Muse. For a while, I was pursing my passion. I felt more alive than ever. I felt invincible, nothing could stop me. I fell in love with my Muse . However I was naive and I didn’t realise at the time, she had let herself inside but with with no respect for privacy. She made me write about things I didn’t know wanted to write about. Then just like that she said there was too much on my mind. In a fit of rage she ripped out a few pages from my library and set them on fire… and she was gone. All of a sudden it was see you later, Muse. Just like that my dream got deferred…again. I was paralsyed. I was haunted. I stopped writing. What would this place be without my Muse?

Fast forward to the present day. I’m in a very different place with this writing thing than I was the first time around. The first time around it was an act of desperation. I was terribly, terribly frustrated. I felt like I had a innate talent and exactly zero outlets. Then my Muse came to me. I embraced her. So I said, screw it. I’m going to do one of these blogs a week. And I didn’t care if anybody read it.

It’s interesting just how fast a muse can come and then slip right on out the door in that one second you happen to be looking in the other direction. Not that it matters, of course, because you never see a Muse coming anyway. Nonetheless the reality was that the inspiration was gone. The ideas seemed to be there, but that “Oh yeah, that’s good stuff” feeling was gone. It’s a weird feeling when your Muse leaves. You’re left with that blank space where writer’s block lurks. Its crazy, I would literally stared at my computer screen , practically brain dead. Could it be that my Muse’s parting gift was writers block ? There’s a difference between what some call writer’s block and the real thing.The faux writer’s block is where you can write, but you’re pretty sure it’s going to come out like crap. That’s actually not bad, because that’s what revising is for.

Real writer’s block is what she left me with. I couldn’t even come up with crap to put in place of good sentences. I don’t think that sort of writer’s block shows up very often, but when it does, it sucks. So then I started to doubt my writing. I mean, heck, if you can’t come up with junk to fill in the gaps, what the hell is wrong with your story, right? So I found myself sitting there sad as hell listening to Adele. Someone like you. An ode to my Muse. Well more like someone UN-like you or something that’s familiar…maybe. By that point, I started to get frustrated. I needed something to get that kick back. I needed a Muse jump start. Like novacane. Okay, no. Not novacane, I’m just kidding. Music and a bit of TV though. That’s what I turned to. Mostly music because there weren’t many TV shows ( Save for How I Met Your Mother and Californication ) around for me to look at for what I needed. Even though my music library is huge, it didn’t seem to have what I needed. I needed something to get the blood rushing, something to light up that magic spark again. Damn,trust me , It’s tough to lure a muse in when its so intent upon doing its own thing. Regardless I persevered.

I turned to older music. Music I hadn’t listened to in a long while. Music that I didn’t even remember I had. It worked. The sudden flood of nostalgia was just the fix I needed. I was flirting with my Muse. Could I convince her to stay longer this time around ? Around this time I was indulging in one of my favourite past times. Watching How I Met Your Mother. For the first time I understood why I love this show. It hit me.Whatever happens between now and the end. Ted will eventually meet the mother. Its basically a show whose main focus the way I see it is based on the optimism of inevitably. On the notion that in the end it all works out and if it feels like its not working out its probably not the end. She is not the mother.

Now to novices of the show it’s basically based around the main character Ted.and his closet friends. The premise is that each episode is a narrative that Ted is sharing with his kids about how he met their mother. Well that’s what the show seems to about if you just look at it on the surface , but if you dig deeper then there is a bigger picture. It is a story that lends meaning and sometimes joy to what have been, at times, some surprisingly dark stories. It operates on a philosophy that is fundamentally this: However your life goes, that’s the story of how you ended up where you are, and therefore, every turn your story took, whether sad or happy at the time, is part of how you achieved whatever joy you have. It’s not really How I Met Your Mother that Ted is explaining to his kids. It’s how I got here, and how you were born, and how everything turned out okay.

Everything turning out okay is not just part of the story; it’s the underlying philosophy of the narrator. The story is a story of how things work out, and it’s always had a lovely philosophical fascination with the fitting together of small pieces to make big things happen. Its a show that emphatically makes the point that bad moves often lead to good moves; that you can use a sequence of left turns to get to the same place a right turn would take you. It engages in a certain amount of magical thinking. It believes in signs, in the power of coincidence and the broader meaning of things that seem unimportant. It’s not afraid of fairy dust and the idea that if the sad, difficult things hadn’t happened, the good things wouldn’t have happened either, because everything is part of a whole.
It’s that sad things go with happy things, not because it’s literally cause and effect, but because when you gut it out through a break up or death or loss, you do so in the belief that you will also get to run through the streets hugging everyone. It operates on a kind of faith in the fundamental goodness of life: that your love will be returned; that your perseverance will pay off; that the family you choose i.e your friends can be just as loving and loyal as the family you were given.

Now. I didn’t suddenly become a TV critic over night .There is point to all this How I Met Your Mother psychoanalysis. It was in doing this that I found my muse again. She has been there all along. Disguised in the optimism of inevitability. I needed A TV show to remind of that It all works out in the end. That’s my muse for now. So I am writing again. Writing my own How I Met Your Mother. Hopefully Mazvita will read it one day.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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