By Simran Ramsay
Image Source: Google Images
I have a habit of talking to myself.
I don’t know if it’s because I don’t have many other people to listen to me or because I’m actually crazy, but I do it on a regular basis. Whole conversations. I contemplate, make jokes, sounding sarcastic and hilarious too. But most of the time, I’m just worried. Worried that I’m forgetting something important. It’s not like I don’t have to-do lists or multiple reminders (like this notification, ‘you have one new mail‘) (ugh). My whole apartment is the definition of organized chaos. Lipstick stained coffee cups, stationery, crumpled paper balls. Just any writer’s typical surroundings… Except am I even a writer anymore? I missed two deadlines and nearly faced a firing. My work is just abysmal. And honestly, I’m more sleep-deprived than I’ve ever been.
It wasn’t always like this.
In the beginning, there was adrenaline. A new start, my dream job. I was thrilled to be a writer. Scared, but sure that this is what I was meant to do. That this was where I was meant to be and I did really well. I submitted work on time, received praised for my ideas, even helped others out…
Somewhere in the midst of it, life changed. I got distracted, I lost interest, I let a wall build around me. Brick by brick it closed the entrance to my creativity, I let that wall stop me from expressing myself the way I wanted to. My days became mundane, drab, boring and any other word that describes the exact feeling of waking from an afternoon nap; still tired, guilty for lost time, and barely awake. I crave to feel what I felt in the beginning.
Above all, I’m desperate to love to write again. I am itching to break this wall that’s held together so tight.
I find it interesting actually, how this writer’s block works. How it’s become difficult to say the things that would just flow out of me. How, out of the countless words in the English language, I’m unable to pick just a few and write my story.
‘Why does work suddenly feel like work? Why do my muscles hurt? God, I just want it to stop!’
I realize that this inner conflict and rambling on makes no difference. This isn’t the first time I’ve had this conversation with myself. It isn’t the first time I’ve begged myself to change. It’s not the second or the third, either. However, this time the notification mocked me.
‘(1) new mail’
‘(0) new alerts as you have no social life’
‘You’re barely a writer anymore‘
‘Another missed deadline’
‘Your apartment is messy. But not messier than your life.‘
‘You have one new mail, but you’re wasting your time‘
I pulled out my laptop. Desperate times called for desperate measures.
Went on WikiHow and typed:
‘How to feel motivated’
“Maintain a positive attitude.” How?
“Get support from your friends and family.” Oops, I don’t have any.
“Fight against your fears and doubts.” Vague much?
“Be proud of who you are and what you’re capable of.” Clearly, the list of results was useless for a writer.
I then came up with my own list of things as and for a writer that makes me feel inspired, motivated, and helps me get back to work.
Wear empowering clothes:
There’s something about wearing a suit, tying your hair back and looking in the mirror that makes you feel sophisticated. It’s something that makes you feel like you can do anything. I strap on my heels. I decided to finally feel awake.
Coffee and I are like old lovers. We rendezvous every day, same time, same place. Even though the usually long serpentine queues outside the coffee shop test my patience, today there was no queue.
Take a walk:
I grabbed my cup of coffee and walked, the flavours diffused into each other, the ice cooling the warm espresso shot to form the perfect combination of strong, bitter coffee. The breeze lightly brushed past, ruffling my already messy hair and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel good. Or refreshing.
Listen to music:
The walk home was a short one, but I wanted to squeeze in a song. There’s this trick my mother taught me to calm myself down. I plugged my earphones in and concentrated. Every time I felt anxious, I would listen to Taylor Swift, I would hear her calming voice and concentrate on lyrics I never related to. Then I tried finding the instruments, the guitar strums, the soft piano in the background and as I’d concentrate on every piece of the music, I’d find myself calm, relaxed and ready.
Draw a bath:
I reached home, hung my coat on the rack and drew a warm bath. Usually, I take showers because they’re much faster. Today, however, I take my time.
Light a candle:
Today I lit the candle I had been saving for a special occasion. I think trying to get my life back on track is a special occasion enough. As I lay down, I let the steam surround me, dispelling my fears and apprehensions. I let the subtle scent of vanilla comfort me and I let myself wander as the sound of crashing waves (playing on my laptop) lulled me.
My eyes were shut, but I was awake. Breathing slowly, feeling every second and realizing I had none to waste, I opened my eyes as the alarm rang. ‘It’s 8 am, you have to submit work by 10!‘
However, this time it didn’t bother me. I knew I’d come through. So I closed my eyes again. Something felt right.
As I opened them again, I was ready to write.
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