I never know what to say around people who think they know what’s best for me. On one hand, I want to say “fuck off, I’m living my life best way I know how”, on the other hand, I don’t want to risk being shunned. Well, I don’t really care, but one must keep the image intact. God forbid anyone sees you at anything less than your 100%.
I turned on my computer and put on my noise cancelling headphones. I pulled out a notepad from the drawer that needs to be reorganized because I can’t find anything in there anymore. I grab for a pen. Realizing that it’s a green pen, I put it back and mindlessly search for my favorite pen. Meanwhile, I try to find the perfect playlist to write to. I spend the next 15 minutes listening to different playlist, unable to find what I am looking for, I decide that silence is probably going to work. I can’t focus on the writing if the music is not right. Especially when I am writing something new. A new blog. A new chapter. A brand new story.
Where’s my blue pen? I stare at the blank page, watching the curser blink aggressively. I can’t work like this. I need to find my blue pen. After I look everywhere for it, I remember that the last time I saw it was two nights ago. It was in my purse. I think. Maybe it fell somewhere? The car. I grabbed my keys and headed to the car. Sweat trickled down my forehead and the pen was no where to be found. Just as I was about to give up, I looked under the passenger seat and there it was. Right! Mom had to use it the other day.
I get back to my desk and I write the date and time on the top right corner of the page. Title. I don’t know. Let’s leave the title for later. I want to write about procrastination. I haven’t written a blog in a while. I’ve been getting distracted with all the other projects I’ve got going on. Maybe I can put down my first experience with procrastination and why I believe it’s the worst affliction ever. Growl! I am hungry. I better get something to eat before I start writing. I’d hate to interrupt the muse when she’s here.
The fridge is absolutely sickening. I can’t eat anything in there. I guess I’ll just make some ramen noodles. It’s quick and easy and I can’t be bothered to cook anything right now. I need to get back to writing. I’ve already wasted 2 hours and the page is still empty. Ok, ok. I’ll quickly eat and then I’ll start writing.
Twenty minutes later, I am back at my desk and the page on my computer is still empty. I swear, this cursor is mocking me. I jot some things down on the notepad but I make a mistake. I search for a white-out pen but I get distracted by how messy my drawer actually is. I pull it out and throw its contents on the floor next to me. OMG I remember that day at the park. I had so much fun with the sisters. Why don’t we go on picnics anymore. We look so happy in this photograph. I wish for more days like these in my life. I grab my notepad and start a to-do list. The first task is, spend more time with my sisters. Task number 2, write the damn post Reem! I slide all the junk on the floor back into the drawer. I’ll organize it after I write this post.
I know what I want to write about. I wrote down all my thoughts and main points. I put the headphones back on, get comfortable in my chair and move the keyboard closer to me. I am comfortable. Ok. Curser blinks. My mind is blank. I grab the pen and write “write a blog post about how much I hate blank pages”. I put the pen down. I stare at the screen. What makes you think that you can even do this Reem!
My fingers finally move. Hit backspace. Delete that word. God, this doesn’t make any sense. What am I even trying to write here. Ok, just keep writing. Remember what you learned from Nanowrimo. Brain dump only. Don’t edit. You can do this. You quit your job to focus on this. No pressure or anything, but, don’t forget it. Isn’t Nanowrimo coming up? I need to outline my next book so I don’t get distracted next month. This time around, I have to make this book happen. Which reminds me, I still haven’t edited my first book.
Hours later, after taking every chance I could to step away from my desk and do anything but write, I finally have a page filled with words. Some of them are readable. Most of them make absolutely no sense. I hate everything I wrote and I ought to stop this ridiculousness. Who leaves their job to pursue a career as an artist and writer. Only a madWOman, that’s who. I wish I was better at this. I wish I didn’t get so easily distracted. I think I need to get tested. Maybe I have ADHD. My phone rings and I answer. I almost never answer phone calls. That’s how much I needed a break from the conversation I was having with my self.
After the phone call, I come back to my desk and I google, procrastination. I read a few blogs and articles and then I read what I wrote. I delete half of it, and rewrite the rest. I add some new sentences and then rearrange the whole thing. I give it a final read. Wow, this is actually good. Not bad Reem.
I wrote a blog post. I fought procrastination. It wasn’t easy. In fact, the mental battle I had was pretty brutal. For the whole day, I was fighting against myself to create something from nothing. For the rest of my life, this is what I have to do, every single day. I look back at everything I’ve done to date, my old job, the old blogs I ran, the previous micro-businesses I’d started and gave up on, and I can pinpoint the exact moment I knew that – that life wasn’t for me. That mean voice was loud then. That mean voice is always here and loud. But now, the mean voice goes away when I am in the zone. When I write, draw or create something, I reach a state of peace. I lose myself. I lose track of time and feel elated. It’s a magical feeling that I only get when I am creating. That feeling, is worth the battle I have to fight every single day.
Some days, the voice wins. Other days, I get too distracted and procrastination wins. But then there are days, glorious joyous days, where I win. It’s worth it.
Here’s a funnier version of this from the Tv Show Mike & Molly.
I keep going back to this memory anytime I am about to do something new. I am siting in class, chatting with my friends, and everyone is talking about a dream they have. Someone says they want to run their own company one day, and another one talks about how incredible and rewarding it would be if they could simply travel the world and experience the nomadic life. I nodded, oohed and aahed along with the rest of the amazed looks. When it was time for me to chime in, I said something about wanting to have a comic strip published in the newspaper. And then I said that I wanted to write a cute fun comic book, and it’s going to be based on our daily lives. Everyone looked at me with eyes wide open, filled with excitement. Someone said, OH MY GOD, LET’S DO THAT!! It would be so much fun. Continue reading →
I just came home like 10 minutes ago. I went to watch Me Before You at the Cinema and for the entire drive back home I was feeling rather subdued. I didn’t cry when the movie ended. I did enough of that after I read the book late last year. I worried the tears will come on the drive back. Some did eventually, but I was thankfully filling up my car with petrol when that happened. I couldn’t stop thinking about Will Traynor and Lou. Would anyone in his position choose to live?
**Do stop reading now if you haven’t read the book or watched the movie. I don’t know how to write this without revealing the plot or the ending. You’ve been warned. SPOILERS AHEAD.** Continue reading →
Part of me knew that something like this would happen. That I would shut down after the words marathon my brain had – not willingly – participated in. I had never spent more than a few days writing in a row, let alone an entire month. It was a binge-like behavior. I was binge-writing and coming down from that high was a little depressing, I am not going to lie. It has felt like there weren’t any more words to write, as if my brain had run out of words.
I’ve mentioned this on my blog a few times before, but I’ve never actually written more than 10k words a year. This includes my diary, the myriad of blogs I’ve kept over the years, and any type of personal and recreational writing. For work, I would write nearly 40k words a year. Writing has always been a means to an end, despite the passion I have for it. Continue reading →
I can never truly profess my love for journaling or keeping a diary. I’ve always loved the idea, and I seem to have developed an obsessions for notebooks and notepads. Get me a moleskine or a legal pad and oh my!!!! Come to think think of it, whenever I am traveling to a new destination, and I find myself in the stationary section of a nondescript department store – which seems to happen without me trying – I have to buy some kind of a notebook. The weirder the cover, the better.
If someone walks into my bedroom and sees all the notebooks and notepads I have lying around, they’d probably think “Wow, she must write a lot”. I don’t have the patience for journaling. I always promise myself to journal more or keep a blog and write more often. I am good for a couple of weeks, but there comes a point where the blank pages irritate me beyond belief. I feel the pressure of not having anything to say, the voices tell me that it’s useless, that I should just give it up, finally making me cringe at the sight of the latest journal (notebook). And that’s another annoying thing, why don’t I just use the same notebook for journaling? Every time I decide to journal again, I have to get a new notebook. I literally have a bunch of notebooks that are half empty or filled about a quarter of the way in.
…..and the cycle continues…..
Now that I am trying to be serious about writing, drawing and developing my creative side, I am now finding it more difficult to concentrate and produce than when it was a spontaneous process. This must me a psychological thing. I am not sure what though.
For the first time in my 29 years, I am dedicating the next (insert time period here) to my novel and my art. I don’t doubt the fact that I will finish the novel and the art series I’d been working on. What I doubt is my ability to stay focused long enough to create something good and worth sharing with whoever cares or is intrigued enough.
As much as I’d like to do, produce, journal and work without getting distracted or finding things that make procrastination so tempting, I know myself and I know that the creative journey is bumpy. I am ok with that. If you do what you love, the pain and frustration is not as bad as that resulting from doing what you hate.
I try to have a laid back approach towards everything, including journaling. So, here’s to another entry towards my journal bank.
I’ve been writing since I was a kid. It’s a natural thing for me. Something that I do because that’s how my brain works. If I ever needed to work something out or was stressed out, writing about it would give me some kind of a resolution. I didn’t exactly keep a journal, but I’ve written about the best and worst experiences of my 29 years.
When you start to feel like you’re not really sure what’s out there for you, what’s next and what you’re supposed to do, it’s very easy to get lost and feel stuck. Continue reading →