Writing is a muscle and you have to regularly exercise it –sadly, I don’t even exercise physically for me to practice it creatively. People automatically assume this pandemic is like a relaxing creative retreat where we don’t have any excuses to be productive. Sadly, my brain is on survival mode and filled with constant anxiety. So, writing and being creative feels so much harder now.
So, I started journaling my thoughts in hopes that many of my scattered lines can become one coherent piece. It does help but most of the time it’s a great way for me to release my anxious thoughts healthily.
To combat my on-and-off writer’s block I decided to create a workspace that can inspire me –or at least look great on Instagram. There’s a window to my left but the view is a boring closed gate, a perfect metaphor for my creative block. So, if I can’t enjoy a good view I might as well make my own.
But I do try despite being constantly stressed and anxious. This blog is a way for me to feel a sense of productivity. Although, I have a Bojack blog post in my drafts since March which means I’m not that productive at all! Because writing feels so hard right now –heck even getting out of bed is too hard nowadays. It’s been an emotionally stressful three months in quarantine.
And then I was listening to a podcast where the host opened up about his creative block. One thing he does to overcome it is to journal. Yes, journal but not the whole “dear diary” kind of thing but a place to scribble random thoughts. As long as you just write whatever comes in your mind onto paper and then check back at the end of the week to see what’s usable.
Although he specifically used it to break the creative block I am using the journal method to relax. Let my thoughts flow through the page rather than constantly float inside my head. Because like most people in quarantine, my anxiety is intensified and the degrading thoughts are more vivid. It helps to see my messy thoughts in bad handwriting rather than constantly thinking about them.
I try my best to keep busy with various projects. Like this whole blog post that took two weeks in the making. It is a great way to keep myself distracted but it doesn’t quite help lessen my anxiety. Because when I am not busy the thoughts start rushing in, ruining my sleep and work habits. There are days where I force myself to be busy for the sake of doing something so I wouldn’t have to alone with my thoughts.
Writing is the only outlet that gives me a sense of control. The world is too overwhelming right now and my body’s response is to survive. Creative endeavours are not the first thing my body wants to do. Journaling my random thoughts and emotions help me make sense of everything. It also keeps me from having a mental breakdown. So, I jot them down in bullet points and weird scribbles hoping to make sense.
Even if what I write in my journal never sees the light of day, I write to feel better. It is the only healthy coping mechanism I have right now. The only thing I know I can control. There are days I re-read a few entries and laugh at the weird metaphors I came up with. Other days, I just keep writing and writing until I can’t understand what’s on the page.