I can’t not write. I can’t even begin to fathom a life without writing. It’s obnoxious how much I enjoy the act of writing. What I love about writing is that I can both, at once, be enveloped and detached from my self.
Sometimes I have trouble keeping focus. It’s not because nothing sustains my interest, paradoxically, my attention jumps from one idea to the next out of excitement. Everything is interesting. I’ll be reading something and a burst of thoughts will begin to crystallize, and I’ll form my train of thought from there. When I started to write this, I was actually in the middle of reading a book that I had to put down in order to scribble down these thoughts. One thought provokes another and I become lost in the realm of verbal expression. Does it ever happen to you where writing feels like a drug? It becomes a vast ocean of free writing. Your rational intelligence dissipates and the intuitive mind takes over. It’s almost as if both my hands are moving and my mind is spinning, but it’s going at such a rate that I am not consciously aware of what I’m thinking until I see it on paper.
People often note that I must read a lot because of my abundant writing. I don’t. It’s so hard for me to focus on one book at a time because I become so antsy about my own ideas that I become absorbed by them. It’s a transcendental feeling when I write, it makes the emotions much more real, it makes reality that much more real.
I can’t even finish this interior design book that I started (2 weeks ago) because:
1) I decided to search up Russian design when it mentioned the word “Russian”
2) because it mentioned Renoir speaking about the “white on white” technique and I had to search up who this artist is
3) because I have other books laying around and I thought, well why not read those too! i can read them all at once!
Sometimes my mind is empty. Sometimes I repetitively refresh my Facebook page thinking that a late night status will suddenly and somehow spur some inspiration in me, as if I don’t already know that the news feed naturally refreshes itself.
Do any of you do this? Sometimes it’s pathetic how much time I spend lurking on the internet but really it’s just that i’m waiting for inspiration to bloom. I stare at the same internet page waiting for some god to bestow me with a good thought that I want to take shape. Sometimes I hop off from this couch, pace around my studio, grab another cup of tea, maybe put away a few clothes, and plop back down, hoping that this inspiration will just manifest itself within me. I can’t stand writer’s block.
Other times, when I have writer’s block and I so happen to be optimistic about my next entry, I am enthralled by the idea of the first sentence I will type, because that ultimately will lead the rest of the piece. Sometimes I think I’ll run out of things to write about because there are only so many thoughts I can have before they start to become redundantly boring. And they don’t! That’s the best part – that the mind is a pool of creativity. Sometimes I think I should just take a break from writing. Do you know how many more hobbies I could put into a day?! I could actually sit down and finish these damn books which are all bookmarked around page 100. I could actually play this piano piece that I’ve been meaning to perfect. I could try and develop these painting skills (or so that’s what I tell myself – that they’re just dormant and in a rather long, long state of hibernation).
This, is what I tell myself.
And look what I’m doing: hurriedly writing down all these thoughts on a post-it note at work while the toddlers are napping even though I’m supposed to be folding the laundry and washing the dishes.
It’s rare that I look at my writing and I think, “shit, that’s pretty good!” but does that stop me from writing? Clearly that is not the case because these ramblings persist! Like the painter or photographer, many pieces are recycled (if that, generally discarded and never looked at again) before a piece strikes a chord, hits a nerve. Artists are just obsessively trying to find a way to express themselves. The paradox about art is that it both clears traffic in the mind as well as clutter it, but it’s the good kind of clutter, the kind of clutter that rids of the weeds in the backyard so that the garden may flourish.
“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” -Albert Einstein
Some thoughts have even been lost on the way as I write this, and I think, “fuck!” and mentally pinch myself. Writing with a pen and paper is nice, but it’s not as nearly efficient. The best place for me to write is at my laptop because I type pretty fast, at a good pace of 110 WPM, and I can nearly type at the speed which I think.
Side thought: Do you think one day they will be able to invent a machine that can record your thoughts? Like a heart monitor but for the mind! Oh goodness that would be wonderful.
On the other hand, I don’t like to write when I’m…anywhere where I’m not alone and it’s not easily accessible for me to write. I always take notes in my phone of what I consider to be “important” thoughts that I’d like to elaborate further. But once i’m in a quiet environment hours later, such as my home, I can’t even go back to the thoughts because I’ve already moved on and can’t write about what I’m not genuinely feeling in that moment. if I were to write about it, it would be forced, and I can’t handle that (that’s probably why I don’t like academic writing).
I think the best thing about not only writing, but any type of art, is that it’s enrapturing. Creating art is beautiful. That’s what everyone should do, embrace the little artistic child that is within them and channel all that energy towards that one idea, or seven (or thirty-three). Knowing what we stand for, whether it be dancing, painting, helping others have a good time, is one of the best things we can do, not only for ourselves, but for the world. I believe one who is artistic and aware of this very aspect is both fascinated with the world and brings out the fascination in others. Artists carry inspiration in their essence. It’s how they breathe, for it as vital as eating and sleeping. Ideas trickle other ideas. It’s the domino effect, the butterfly effect, the ripple effect, whatever you want to call it. It’s momentous.
“All the effort in the world won’t matter if you’re not inspired.” -Chuck Palahniuk
Creating art is a love affair with the mind. To be scared of your mind is to be scared of everything. Trust where your mind wanders. It’s the most powerful, transforming, and magical tool. Metacognition – it’s what differentiates us from other species. Those who become trapped in their minds will never understand the freedom that comes with it. Has anyone ever benefited from overthinking? I don’t think so. I think people who overthink just haven’t found an outlet that facilitates a sort of mental release. Your mind is the palette that determines your masterpiece. Use your five senses to translate what swims in the mind. You are the paintbrush of your mind.
I’ve often questioned whether the people I encounter are survivalists or catalysts, and the truth of the matter is that we are all catalysts. It’s in our blood to create.
Go create art. Find your niche. Move in the direction that which nourishes your soul. Don’t fight against what the heart wants. Discover your passion. And be it. Become your own inspiration.