Thoughts and Feelings

There is such a thing as the “need” to write. There is such a thing as “need to create” something.¬†Anything. Those who are subject to such needs know the feeling very well.

It’s when there is no trying. There is only being. Once the faucet is turned on, there is no stopping, the water simply flows and flows.

And it often reflects in the writing or whatever the person creates (art in the form of drawings, the written word, poetry, musical compositions, dance, and so on). It really does show. Sometimes I think if one is used to this process of compulsive creation, it’s much easier to see the why’s behind another being’s creations. You understand where they are coming from, what their thought process might have been like.

The creation of art itself is a process of expression. One piece of creation speaks to many because there exist only a certain range of emotions which are called over and over for processing infinite experiences. That really is the basis of all connection over pieces of art / creations.

This is really where subjectivity comes in.

Our experiences are not homogenous.

Our emotional responses to experiences are not homogenous.

Yes, we all do have the same few emotions that we feel, yet the question of when do we feel them are vastly different. The answer to the previous question is perhaps what makes up one’s “character”.

We don’t all feel the same way (we might think the same way, yes, we might say words which mean one thing, but we could still be feeling entirely something else which might even be a surprise to us when questioned about it) about the same situations. It’s not often that people talk honestly and openly about their feelings. Most of the time, they speak words that they think they should say.

I do think that you can tell when someone is lying through their words about what they truly feel, because their energy never lies. If you are someone who is prone to figuring out people’s energy easily, you know what I mean. And if you are someone who cannot, then lucky you (for the most part). Though I don’t sincerely mean that ūüėõ

It’s only rarely that a bottom of the heart kind of feeling which isn’t much validated through popular culture & norms surfaces through the medium of the spoken word (it happens much more often through actions – actually it happens all the time through actions, but we often don’t have full knowledge about a person’s actions as we do about the words spoken to us). When that happens, I say believe the person who said it or did it. It takes a lot of internal courage to speak your truth, no matter how unacceptable it might sound to others. Sure, it might have come out in a moment of external validation of some sort, but whenever it does, believe it. Like they say “when someone shows their true self, believe them“. If it turns out to be something that is not palatable to you, don’t try to justify their words or behaviour using your own paradigm of thinking.

That’s like having someone tell you they are a rose in a moment of clarity (when the faucet has been turned on), and your saying “Oh no, roses don’t exist where I come from. I have never seen a rose. You, my dear friend, are a leaf, because that’s what I would call myself if I behaved in the way I think I see you behave. There is no such thing as a rose. But you’re cute for thinking that you’re one.

Roses do exist. They just said they are a rose. BELIEVE them, and move on.

The difference between blogging and social media posts

I have been a blogger since 2005*. Social media “happened” majorly somewhat during 2007 and onwards. My own personal blog started showing signs of being unloved (by it’s own author) in about 2008 or so – which seemed to coincide with the rise of Facebook.

To put it in very briefly – I think my blogging capacity decreased as I spent more energy chronicling life on Facebook.

Blogging was and is a way of chronicling, finding the humour in every day situations, and ultimately an emotional & artistic release for me. I have so many, many, MANY thoughts at any given point of time, and I often struggle to put them across verbally (aside from the thought of “who would even listen to all of that“). But give me a laptop (I am a millennial after all – though I still write a lot using pen and paper #journalling #planneraddict) and some free time, and I find myself making sense of my own thoughts through my writing.

A little side effect of the rise of Facebook, and reduction in personal blogging (talking completely about my own self and life, but this is not untrue in a general sense either), was a reduced sense of expression.

The thing with social media posting is this:

The Newsfeed.

The Newsfeed is the bane of authentic, in the moment, completely genuine and undistressed expression.

The thing with the Newsfeed is this. Every time I want to say¬†something, I KNOW that it will be slapped across on several people’s newsfeeds against their will, really. It feels a little like taking a microphone and announcing something out to the world. Unsolicited. Which is why I find myself trying to filter my expression, thinking eleventy billion times about whether it will be “accepted”, whether it will make sense to anybody else.

It feels a little like walking across the road, shouting about my thoughts and feelings. Sure, some might find it amusing, many might throw some signs of approval/ relatability my way in the form of likes and comments, some may shut their windows (scroll past), but it does feel like its directed at people in general/specific.

Whereas, blogging is the opposite.

It is just a pure outpour of one’s own thoughts and feelings (or whatever else), without really any expectation or even knowledge of who is consuming it. If someone seeks¬†out my writing, they will find it (i.e. come specifically to read my blog or see my post on their feed reader – do those still exist by the way? I miss Google Reader….)

Blogging is not directed at any body. It is purely for my own sense of expression. Surprisingly though, over the years I have made new friends through my various blogs Рbut I have not made a single new friend through Facebook. This might not be true for many people who do in fact find friendships and meet like minded people through social networks.

May be because I deeply care about the inner workings of people, and not so much about their outward daily activities that blogging is a better channel for me (for expression and also to share space with minded souls). For example, I don’t care about what people do as their job. I don’t think doing the same job as me makes someone more of a kindred spirit. I do think that having similar views on relationships, life philosophies how to deal with situations, is far more of a connecting factor for me. Blogging gives a deeper opportunity to be more meaningful and to express oneself without word limits, or the fear of being judged by your peers #NewsfeedShame I get to see (and express) more of the inner side of things through blogging.

Social media is great for chronicling outer things (I like this little categorisation of “inner things vs. outer things”) like social gatherings, travel, work stuff, memes, brief views & opinions on culture, sports and politics (which, if my Newsfeed is to be representative of an average newsfeed, is about 95% of things).

Blogging is great for chronicling inner things like relationships with others and the self, extended views and thoughts which go into the “whys” and give more insight on the inner workings of a person, inspirations, aspirations, chronicles of the mundane and little moments which may not gather too many likes, but may comprise 95% of one’s life, worthy of being relived (reread) after years. Also, because there is no scope of #NewsfeedShame, words tend to tumble out effortlessly (wait, is this why it’s called Tumblr????) and authentically, feelings expressed more unabashedly and without fear of judgment.

I absolutely love going back and reading what my teenage self wrote more than a decade ago. I had been doing a lot of soul searching, identity searching kind of work last year (for example, that right there is a sentence that would never make it to any of my social media posts because it is way.too.bare.for.the.newsfeed.) and my old blog was an absolute goldmine. I even found myself being counselled by the wise words of my teenage and uncensored self.

That’s why I find personal blogging so very different in form and spirit. It is nothing more than a digital diary left open for anyone to come and read at their own free will.

*with a little break during my “lawyer years”, and resumed in 2015 with my photography website blog (granted, not the same as a personal blog, but not nothing either)

Routinised Creativity – Challenge Rejected…

….and rejected rather badly.

So. The short story is that I’ve dumped this challenge for now.

Why?

By default actually. I didn’t stick to it for 2 continuous days after starting.

Now before you go around tut-tutting me about “giving up” “not giving it a fair chance” and “trying harder” (side note: hate the last one with particular gusto), let me tell you something about myself.

I’m not a kid. I’ve seen myself for many, many years. And I know that when a routine is truly beneficial for me, the biggest sign is that I’m¬†excited about it & look forward to it from Day 1.

I don’t have to “make myself” like anything – either it hits a chord, or it doesn’t.

Over the years I’ve spent (edit:¬†wasted) many a time and useful energy which could’ve been doing useful things (or watching Netflix – hey, watching Netflix is better than spending time berating yourself for something completely random) in “trying to get myself to do stuff” that didn’t quite fit. I’ve learnt through experience, that when it doesn’t hit a chord from the very beginning, it has usually not proven to be of much value to me.

Now, this is absolutely not to say that every body should do this and those who stick to annoying routines and try to plough on and try to get “get done with it” should change their ways. Quite the opposite.

For me, “getting stuff done” attitude is not nearly as optimal as “la la la, lets DO this, b*&^%es!”

So, I’m not going to push on with the routine that didn’t quite work for me. It just didn’t get my juices flowing, I sort of dreaded that particular time block on the second day – and refused to cooperate with my own Challenge. Well.

Now that we’ve made our introductions, we can take this thing somewhere.

Creating Everyday by Routine – Challenge Accepted

I’m a creation junkie.

I would like to believe I’m a “prolific creator”, because I’m happiest when I look at a nice little bundle of things I’ve just given rise to.

I’m someone who tries to build routines all the time, to support said creation.

I think every creator of any kind (artist, writer, business person, any one really, who makes something out of nothing, that, by the way is my definition of “creator“) has faced this challenge at some point –¬†how do I create, and keep creating good quality material consistently¬†while also enjoying myself in the process?”

There are many components to this question:

  • how do I create
  • how do I keep creating
  • good quality material
  • consistently
  • while also enjoying myself in the process

The reason why most creators ended up, sort of getting addicted¬† to creating was because of the way it made them feel – good, to put it rather simplistically (it’s a feeling of utmost joy & accomplishment, from a state of flow, where you enjoy and thrive in the feeling of being in that moment, not realising the minutes or hours pass by, and the joy of beholding something that you have created literally out of nothing).

But, most of us also feel at some point, and we have reached a bit of a stumbling block. And are often searching for the best way to make it as easy as possible for us to tune out every thing else, and simply create.

At this stage, your logical mind must most naturally be enquiring “Erm, then why don’t you do just that – tune out and create? Why are you writing pointless articles like this?

Well, because, intelligent reader, the reason is that at times it seems quite an arduous task to tune out. There are so much distractions readily available that tuning out of one thing mostly leads to tuning into something else. While creating takes a backseat.

Ever felt like you¬†know you¬†want to lose those 10 pounds and that you know that you need to exercise and eat well, yet you don’t end up doing it. When you do do it, it feels good, right?

Yet, you don’t do it?

It’s futile to doubt your intentions of doing it – because just like those yearly resolutions and tax deadlines – they are always there. Yet, it doesn’t get done.

Now you say, “okay, all that is great but what are YOU doing about it?

I recently read this informative article¬†The Daily Routine of 20 Famous Writers¬†– yes I am the sort of person who googles about other people’s habits & routines during my “breaks”.

The common thread I found was this – most of them committed to blocking off a chunk of time around creating as a routine.

I’m a total sucker for routines so I’m thinking of giving this a try.

Are there challenges? YES.

Like, blocking off all distractions.

Doing the same thing at the same time every day (even weekends).

Sticking to it when it feels like its getting me nowhere.

Am I going to try? Yes. Because I’ve noticed massive gains in my work life when I have committed to a particular kind of routine.

I shall try to report over here how my routine goes.

The Routine that I’ve set for myself is this:

Create every single day from 730 am – 11 am.

It’s not difficult really. I any way usually work at this time. The challenge is this – all work is not “creation”. In fact, most “work” in my line of work is not creation really. But creation is obviously critical to work – as you see, I am an artist.

Well this challenge has already cause one good thing to happen – I wrote this article out.

A bit of a self fulfilling prophecy, but I think this thing works!