The Creative Agony

I plan to take on a writing project soon, so I’ve been trying to challenge myself to take on creative exercises, like take random things and write 500-word essays about them. (So forgive me, but in the next couple of weeks, you might be seeing a lot more blog posts from me than you would care to read, haha.)

See here, how I try to get on with this writing thing.

I go outside, where I could see open skies, and hear the sound of leaves rustled by the wind, and maybe see a dog or an actual person occasionally walk past by.

I plug on my earphones and play music from my phone.

I try to get to a feeling.

I cast my gaze up at the sky. It is a beautiful shade of blue.

I heave a deep sigh.

Nothing comes to me.

My mind drifts to why I’m trying to write. I have free time, at least for 3 more weeks before I get back to the daily grind again. And I need to make the most of this downtime, I decide, and get to doing what I’ve always said I’d do if I ever got free time. I said I’d write, so here I am.

In my head, I mull over possible things I could write about. After the mountain of academic and technical writing I waded through in grad school and at work, I now want my writing to be of a totally different flavor, a truly creative pursuit. So I figure, I would write about breakfasts. Or maybe about goats. Or maybe, about one of the sample texts of the Google fonts I downloaded last night (i.e. “Then came the night of the first falling star,” a quote from The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells).

The wind messes up my hair. I sweep wayward strands off my face and pin them behind my ear.

I watch the dancing shadows of the leaves, choreographed by the wind and spotlighted by sun against the table I am writing on.

I hear the birds chirp.

And then I think about how much solitude is required to write. I figure I might need to distance myself from people if I intend to lead a creative life. See, people distract me from the feeling and the sense and the space required to write. I think this is why my mother has said once before that she hopes the person I marry would be a writer, so that he would understand, and not be offended at how much I need to be alone to continue to be myself. The solitude required to be fully for this craft is a lot and barely understood by those not of this blood. I know it makes it sound like writers are a special, different species, but really, they’re different not in a shiny, spectacular way, but more in a haunted, tormented way. They hear voices in their heads, and if they are inhibited from writing those voices out, they go mad. They are mad. All creatives are said to have a higher likelihood of having relatives with a mental disorder than of having a mental disorder themselves; all creatives, except writers. Writers typically have a higher likelihood of having a mental disorder themselves.

I realize my thoughts digress from the original purpose of my going outside where I could see the open skies and hear the sound of leaves rustled by the wind.

I will write, I tell myself. I need to write.

I enjoy listening to a couple more songs from my playlist.

I see a lone leaf float down onto the still-blank page before me.

I think of writing about leaves.

Or maybe about just one leaf.

I attempt a haiku—

5       “A leaf is green now.
7       Later it will not be green,
5       it will be orange.

I realize it is crap.

I get up, gather my stuff, and move back inside the house.

I open my laptop, and start a computer game.

I play for the rest of the day. ♣

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