Rise From The Ashes…

Greetings, non-forgotten readers!
(Heyy, that sounds familiar…)

What a month of June this was, and I still have two days left! A promising summer indeed.

I disappeared to Denmark and Sweden for nearly two weeks and enjoyed bathing in languages I couldn’t speak (yay for friends/translators) even though most people speak great English.

Coming back I had to pack up my studio to move to a bigger apartment – let’s hear a hooray for stairs! Cleaning was tiring, and going home in the evening to a house without a computer felt extremely strange.

What was I to do before sleeping!? I cooked, I unpacked and organized some things, and I even bought mint for my new mini garden. But the poor thing is way too big for its tiny pot, so I converted cans into flower pots with three simple components: gesso, glue/varnish and napkins! Gaze at the result of internetless crafty creativity:

Creative recycling!
Creative recycling!

Then I had to survive another week with a computer but without internet; a completely different lifestyle for sure. On the plus side, I finally started reading my book on writing! It’s in French (Atelier d’écriture de Laure D’Astragal ), and I have no idea if it exists in English. I feel like it would given the method is from the U.S.? If not, maybe I should translate it…

When I (mentally) started writing this post, I was to go into some deeper meaning of creativity and willingness to write, but because I didn’t write it soon enough or jot down any notes, I had absolutely no clue where I meant to go with this. Until I kept writing and found some thoughts.

I will finish on a (familiar) note that once I had my computer but was deprived of internet, I started re-watching anime I still love, both to distract myself from my to-do list at hand and to dive once more into Japanese immersion. The latter works better than the former I must say, although I’ll always have a soft spot for anime (and all its glorious flaws) because that is what first got me writing. And I’m not going to lie, re-watching some episodes rekindled my desire to write fanfiction (which had been dormant for quite a few years). All in all, that is excellent news because writing fanfiction is writing.

Instead, I re-read some of my previous works and– man, has my writing improved! That is without a doubt the best reason for me to keep all my works, the worst included. Because whenever I indulge myself to revisit the past I’m always surprised (if not delighted) to find out just how much I matured as a writer. (This applies to the blog as well, of course.) We’ve all been there, cringing at what we once considered “darlings.”

Now that my desire to write has awoken again, I’ll do my best to feed it appropriately, perhaps in a routine, but no doubt in a few indulgences such as fanfiction (or dare I mention role-plays). I’ll certainly avoid stressing myself into a corner like I have done these past few months with words such as “I should write” or “I have to write.” Those words serve no purpose other than piling nonexistent obligations and making me feel burned out. I know I can’t write well – if at all – when I’m stressed. That is, writing about anything else but what is stressing me out.

There are no shoulds and have tos, only wants, choose tos, or coulds. (Unless you have an editor or agent breathing down your neck, that’s a different story.) Once I realized that, the last ashes of the burning landscape settled and after a few spouts of rain, green sprouts of desires and ideas are already growing back.

So if you ever stress yourself out, really listen to the words you use with yourself then really pause and take a breath. Go on, take a day (or two) off, the sprouts will be waiting.

Ali J.

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