Creative exhaustion + juggling

I’m currently sat outside in the sunshine in what is the hottest day of the year so far here in England, and in London where I am. (My car temperature gauge measured 28.5ºC!). Yet it was snowing just a couple of weeks ago. Strange times that we’re living in. Btw – you know it’ s hot when your iPhone stops playing YouTube suddenly, with an alert saying “Your iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it again”.

In last week’s post I shared my publishing ambitions, and how attending London Book Fair had only helped to re-affirm this. For those 3 days last week, Tuesday to Thursday, energy management was crucial, especially as I was out till late evening on two of those nights – and it takes anything from 7-90mins to get back home form ‘town’. Friday came as a welcome relief, before I went to an Indian wedding on Saturday, and then went to Church on Sunday evening and hung out afterwards. Monday I had a meeting with one of the panellists from LBF that I’d emailed, and then had a Sikh event in the evening which, again, saw me get back late.

When I’m away in London, I can forget about things like hydrating and nourishing myself, and I think the accumulation of busy days/evenings led to my feeling tired and under the weather when I got back late on Monday night. I then did the exact opposite of the sensible thing, and ended up staying up through the night; I wish I could say I was being productive – in short, I’ve had a long-standing issue when it comes to ‘being’ online – it certainly has been a release/crux of sorts when I’m particularly over-stimulated/tired/have lots of things going on; it’s something I’m working through in therapy).

creativ exhaustion.jpg
credit: geralt

In other words, I’ve had a fair bit going on and the priority to gain experience in publishing still remains, having had over a year off and the whole ‘job thing’ being a personal pain point of mine for so long. With my being so busy and active of late, the exhaustion also equates to creative exhaustion. Yesterday, as I sat in bed before going to sleep, I got down to writing just a couple of pages – the first story pages I’d written in a few days.

I’m trying to be kind to myself and, whereas before I was just wanting to get this book finished and out in the world asap, I’m now content with going at a slower pace. The key thing for me is keeping going, even if only gradually. Though I would still really like to maintain momentum and write at least a couple of days a week for, say, 30 minutes to an hour, I’m also conscious that – when I am working full-time – it will be more challenging to manage my (creative) energy with the job (and 3 blogs!); at this stage, I’m just trying not to worry about the future and take it as it comes.

Originally intended as a short story, it has now well and truly become a novella and is on it’s way to becoming a novel. I think I’ll even feel a little disappointed if it ends of falling short of the 50,000 words “novel mark”!

As I’ve previously talked about on this blog, some heavy editing will be needed – and I may also be weaving more into the plot to add some complexity and multi-dimensionality. I know I’m going to have to keep an eye on the pesky perfectionist in me, and I’ll do well to embrace the “don’t think, just do!” mentality I’ve been trying to adopt of late.

Another challenge for me is reigning myself in, and not getting carried away with so many creative projects – e.g. poetry and acting. These are two things which, as a curious and increasingly expressive/creative guy, I’m intrigued about. I actually released my very-amateurish first self-narrated poem to the world just yesterday on Twitter. It’s definitely the closest I’ve felt to being Eminem, I must say.

Like my journalling, poetry is just an amazing outlet for me to express my innermost thoughts, feelings and emotions from my core. Writing is definitely the medium through which I feel most comfortable and effective when it comes to expressing myself. I’m not much of a talker or a sharer when it comes to ‘my stuff’ – therapy and writing are filling that void for me right now. (Psst – that said, I have recently been quoted in a couple of articles about my mental health – this one is the most recent, published just today: 19 men share what it’s like to take anti-depressants). It feels like this week’s post is, apart from being a rambling one, as much of a reminder to myself than anything else. A reminder of that fact that life has priorities, and whilst these exist my energy is a limited resource. that I am only human, and best when I focus my efforts on just 1 or 2 projects, rather than a whole bunch. That with writing a story, maintaining 3 blogs, and focusing on a job search that is now in full swing – plus various extra-curricula activities I’m now involving myself in (some publishing-/book-related, some religious-related), as well as trying to consciously cultivate closer friendships…. I will need to be EXTRA-kind to myself over the coming days and weeks!

I hope that you, too, are kind to yourself when it comes to your writing and your life as a whole – and remember to love yourself and respect yourself in the same way that you probably do with others, rather than hold yourself to ridiculously high and punishing standards. #guiltyascharged

Right, I’m off to start my ’10 minutes of story’ on my list for today…

Have a lovely weekend folks ✨☀️

PS. Do check out my 1st recorded poem if you get a chance, on Soundcloud
& the ‘The Metro’ men’s mental health articles I contributed to can be found here and here

✏ Written: Thursday, 12th April @ 2.31pm

A.B. Guy | articles | newsletter 💌

What about you? 🤷🏽‍♂️
What ‘creative projects’ are you working on, at the moment? And – how good are you when it comes to being kind to yourself, and/or prioritising as needed? 💙

 

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Poem: lonely at school

I feel lonely.

Surrounded by my classmates, rows of desks placed close together.

Physically close but distant from each other.

I look around.

There’s the class clown, he couldn’t give a damn.

Casually leaning back and chewing gym, surrounded by his clam.

He doesn’t worry about exams – why should he?

What’s the f*cking point in learning about geometry?

I look around.

Everyone in their cliques.

The Asians, the quiet ones, the nerds, the cool ones.

But what group are you in, huh?

You got a couple of pals, the ones you spend most time with.

But it doesn’t look like they give much of a sh*t.

Before each lesson you play the same game…

Hmm, where should I sit? With this guy or that guy?

Does it make a difference?

I’ll still feel lonely no matter the distance

Between me and them, them and me.

Whether we’re talking or silent, I feel a boundary.

Does everyone else feel this way?

Or is it just me?

How am I supposed to ask questions like that,

Without them thinking I’m crazy?

Judging me, rolling eyes, looking down on me.

Seeing me as the brown kid who isn’t rowdy,

He does his work proudly.

He’s innocent, naive, non-threatening.

Not the type who electrifies on the sports field,

Or sets trends with what he wears?

And girls? Ha, don’t even go there.

This dude couldn’t talk to a girl if he tried,

He’s too scared. That’s the truth there.

He still looks thirteen.

Short, skinny, glasses, no facial hair,

He’s turning seventeen! I’m not joking.

He is me. I am he.

Way back at school I felt lonely.

I didn’t fit in anywhere, I didn’t feel deserving.

Had I looked a little closer,

Maybe I’d realise I wasn’t the only one hurting.

– – – – –

Written by,

Jay

aka: the awkward brown guy, and AB Guy

✏ Sunday, 18th March 2018 @ 3.32pm

👀 Read more of my poetry here.

Poem: a nice quiet Sunday

A nice quiet Sunday, just me and bro at home,

We both enjoy our downtime, sometimes we like to be alone.

Sundays are for reflecting,

Chilling out and introspecting,

Reflecting on the week behind,

Reflecting on the week ahead,

Reflecting on all the things going on inside your head.

Keeping some of those thoughts at bay,

Naming them when you need to do – so those thoughts don’t stay.

Some of those thoughts aren’t nice, you just want them to go away.

But facing them head-on helps make them go away.

For now at least. The mind is weird,

Things crop up from time-to-time,

One day you’ll feel downcast, the next you’ll be fine.

Just another Sunday, ticking away,

There’s something holy about it – last Sunday I prayed

At a church in the city,

Felt more at easy than I thought – some of the girls there were pretty.

Whoops – I shouldn’t be looking, should be praying instead,

Not thinking about which girl I wanna be taking out instead.

Hey, I’m only human, not committing a crime,

Though we all have our flaws, you have yours,

And I sure as hell have mine.

– – – – –

Written by,

Jay

aka: the awkward brown guy, and AB Guy

✏️ Sunday, 24th March 2018 @ 1.25pm

👀 Read more of my poetry here.