As I lay on my bed, head resting on my hand – casual, rather uncomfortable, but I feel good. ‘This is productive’, I think. At least, I have deceived myself into sitting and writing. I am done waiting for the ideal writing spot – a golden oak table with a vintage chair, with all the charm of fairies and French movie characters sprinkled all over my desk – a spot where ideas dawn with the rising sun, where everything falls into place and once through, I have unveiled yet another masterpiece of thought.
But I have waited long enough. I have written in all places – candid canyons, tree trunks, fancy front lawns, in the middle of the night, in a mud house crawled into my sleeping bag, surrounded by slithering spiders and scorpions and snakes, and all things creepy and weird. I have written on bus rides, typed while sitting on the back of a motorcycle, stopped my bike in the middle of the road just to jot an idea down; I have written in all obscure positions and uncanny places, but never on a table!
“Do I really need a table? Is my fantasy of the ideal workplace utterly romantic?”
I still adore this romantic idea of a writer, but real life presents different artistic hurdles – challenges to make do with whatever I have access to or whoever I may believe I am. Even through a crisis, when the dawn of creativity is spell-binding and nauseous, I have to write.
Life only presents you with problems that are necessary; it has an eerie way of teaching things, it is the false emotional obligation that follows which usually breeds all issues. Although metamorphosis is evident, I can’t stop but question myself once again –
“Am I in love with writing or the idea of writing?”
Humans crave comfort and an easy life, and so do I. Nobody wants to run 10 kms everyday but a fanatic. Regular ol’ folks like me want it easy – an ideal manifestation of the romantic dream of work and creativity and wonder and awe and life.
Many times, I have had to adjust, sometimes under the guise of minimalism or essentialism, and sometimes under a grand reposition of an intellectual thought presented as an indisputable justification.
‘It is never perfect, it never will be, not even close to perfection,’ I can’t help but deduct. Consider this moment – I am uncomfortable, my head has now slid across my arm and now it rests on my arm blocking the veins. If I don’t move (keep moving), my arm shall fall asleep. But I shall write.
The urge to write – to do something, to create runs wild and strong though. I don’t know what to write, what to think, but somewhere deep inside I feel that I should just sit and write, regardless of place, virtue or cry.
I am done with all things internet. Everything under the hood of productivity and value is indeed a distraction. ‘Consumerism’ in its quintessence, and I am no ubermensch.
“Let’s find an interesting article to read…”
“Maybe watch a documentary…”
“No, I should just chill tonight and watch a film maybe…”
… all sorts of ideas radiate while I try desperately to fill my time with something, something that will eventually end up eating two hours, climaxing in a beautiful fatigue of choice.
“No, I should just write…”
Recently, I have observed myself a little too closely – objectively of course, but mostly through the eyes of an idealist, an extremist – a radical, and it has not been fun; I have not been kind to myself. Through turmoil of self-imposed judgements, brutal self criticism and barbaric attempts to decipher my being, I have come to realise that most of my waking life is spent waiting, anticipating. Waiting for the food, for a friend, for the bus, anticipating true love, an ideal place, motivation, and unfortunately – inspiration.
I fail to analyse time as an objective entity and quite too easily fall victim to my basic rabid subjectivities. As if there is a camera somewhere eyeing my every move, comparing me with a notion, a convention, and declaring a judgement. Self-judgement is way too real.
Sometimes it makes sense, but mostly, it is frantically stupid of me, especialy waiting for inspiration.
I am drawn too easily to cliche and convention. I am way too weak against my own emotional, obligatory and hard-wired self. I am barely a victim of my own crimes, if I could only start again.
Recently, I came across the “two-minute rule”. Classic modern day productivity jargon, but I should give it a chance, a fair chance at least. Not the one where I am invoked out of a subconscious ego to prove it wrong; but a fair, open and a just chance.
An hour or so from now, I was jeopardising the fruit of labour, vaguely identifying inaction into a stream of self derogatory thoughts and beliefs. I was daydreaming of my writer self – caught in the moment, fluent, abstract yet sharp, uneven yet epigrammatic; slowly but steadily spiralling into the abyss of inaction. I had a plethora of opinions and notes on why not to write, all intelligent juxtapositions of my own brain. Then I notice this subtle pattern (what I have done too many times to even keep a count), and command myself to at least try writing the heading, try writing for two minutes.
The initial friction isn’t easily drafted off, it is rough. But it does get easier after the first poke. Then, if I can just sustain it, like a boulder rolling off a cliff, tumbling over the ledges, breaking into pieces and shattering all over the cliff, I would eventually reach the stable ground down below. I would eventually put in the final period, now or sometimes sooner.
I guess it is more about the time spent in a state of selflessness, unaware of the magic and metaphysics of arts – a state of absolute inspiration; if I can just sustain it, not long and I shall drift away into a state of flow.
“You are not supposed to deliver masterpieces, or something worthwhile, all these implications are self-drawn and self-catered”, I remind myself, ‘all you need to do is to get going, get into the state where you are moving, creating, regardless of scale or quality or ambition.’
These three – scale, quality and ambition, shall oblige and eventually follow, they will become inseparable from my work ethic, but for starters, I shouldn’t aim for perfection, or grandeur, or will, I should just sit down and write.
I was a little child, when I read a quote which to this day resonates and rings bells in so varied perspectives, scales and notions. The quote reads –
“You must take one step towards God, and then he will take ninety-nine steps towards you”
Who is your God, Saby? A table?