One Writer’s Madness: basic steps of the writing withdrawal

One Writer's Madness: basic steps of the writing withdrawal

THE LUXURY OF BEING ALONE

I’ve been away from my laptop for about a month due to my family visiting me in Sydney. My entire family (close or extended) live in Russia and none of the members have ever been to Australia. I’ve been living in Sydney for six (6) years now and visited Russia two (2) times since my “great move” in 2008.

Parents arrival was (and IS) a big deal. I lived in the nervous anticipation for months, getting ready physically and mentally from putting WELCOME sign up to mentally getting ready to be a full-time guide, translator and entertainer to a two soviet adult parents. I have not written a thing over the period of my parents visiting Sydney partially due to the lack of writing time but also because I was overwhelmed with feelings and emotions. I had to even take a week of work to be able to cope with the stream of feelings following me everywhere in Sydney. It only lasted a month and now I am back to where I belong… or so I thought.

welcome to sydney

I took my family to the airport and sat down to finally write… However nothing came out. Instead I spent hours browsing seems to be not related information, news, videos and other blogs, in fact, getting my inner self in balance. I’ve realised I was surrounded by a lot of people for over a month and have finally had my time alone. I call it the luxury of being alone.

CREATIVITY WITHDRAWAL 

As an introvert, I need some time to recharge in order to function, to create and to live. Dealing with visiting family means not only dealing with a lot of people all the time (and in a small space) but also a lot of emotions and feelings control and maintenance is required.

I am a writer – telling a story, reveling truth, expressing my opinion and FEEL all sorts of emotions is what I do. Not writing, for me, is similar to not breathing – it is suffocating. I am sure many writers out there would understand me.

Emotions, feelings and imagination is what makes us geniuses but also sensitive and vulnerable. Creative people aren’t creative because they are thick skinned and cold minded, they are creative because they are daring, odd, sensitive and a little crazy (in a good way of course).

So here I am a whole month without even a sentence of blogging or copywriting… Pretty tough hey!

Creativity people's emotions

If you are interested to learn more about the source of our emotions, feelings and opinions I highly recommend to dig into our childhoods. No matter how cliché it sounds, talking about our childhoods can sort out a lot of mess. One of my all time favorite is The Drama of Being a Child : The Search for the True Self by Alice Miller (among many others) which, as I am sure I discussed before, opened my eyes on a lot of things. I had no one to talk to about my childhood (while living overseas) so I read books, as many as I could, being in search of answers. I must add if you are searching for some answers you are most likely will be searching for them as long as you live.  Said that, you will definitely get some personally mysteries solved, many others will always remain a secret. Learning never stops, it continues with out lives and only ends when we stop breathing.

TO WRITE OR NOT TO WRITE

I am very lucky to be loved! However I am unlucky to sometimes forget it… I was going through my dear friend’s blog (as I absolutely admire her work and her lifestyle), thinking that although life is a zebra or a zig zag, if you wish; from time to time (or most of the time, really) I am a very happy person! However I often need a reminder of my happiness and luckiness… Therefore I spent my first day off (or time alone) reminding myself how truly blessed I am, allowing myself to browse my friends’ blogs, read “useless” news, review some books, watch some shows and listen to some interviews instead of researching topics I was planning to blog about.

Sitting back and allowing myself to shift my attention from the planned book review to silly gossip chatting was a truly valuable experience for me.

losing myself by lifelikesuicide

Image: losing myself by lifelikesuicide

It is my first day of writing and in order to pull myself together I had to first lose most of myself.

THE SHATTERED MIND

When writers are stuck they are stuck. Creativity block is one of the most dreadful events for a writer. However I can also think of another one – shattered mind. As soon as I was back to writing I wanted to write about EVERYTHING at once. I was overwhelmed with the opportunity! It felt like the stream was opened wide and I could flow through so smoothly and entirely. Not so fast! My mind was shattered and it took me time to pull it back together.

When the mind is all over the place it affects your writing as much as the creativity block does. You can’t think straight, cannot come up with valuable ideas or even write a sentence without criticizing it fiercely. This is why I call it the Shattered Mind – similarly to a piece glass, a frozen mind which was dropped on the ground and shuttered its pieces all over the place.

In order to be able to write again you clearly need to collect all the shattered pieces together in one brilliant mind. It doesn’t always happen quick but it has to be done!

Although shattered mind can cause writing discomfort, emotions and feelings themselves can be a distraction. Moreover, feelings and emotions are the initial cause of your mind going berserk. At least, this is what happened to me. Therefore I found it crucial to share!

I had (and still have) so much I simply had to write about that I failed to structure my feelings and desires. As a result, my mind’s environment is something like this little gif I put together as a reminder of what happens when you are not prepared for the writing withdrawal (giggling).

FeIPZw on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

As a result, although I haven’t finished the planned book review, my half finished post for annakochetkova.com froze in time (for over 2 days) and I am not entirely sure I made sense in my current blog post, I finally made a step towards “recovery”. Therefore my advice, if you got stuck or your mind shattered all over the place, don’t panic but:

1. WRITE – you might fail to produce awesome piece now but you are on the right way to getting back on track.

2. Take your time (if you are an introvert) and recharge making notes and starting to write.

3. Acknowledge your emotions and current writing problem, accept it and move on.

4. Allow yourself to fool around (unless you have a tight deadline).

5. And keep it fun 🙂

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