Why did I take almost two years off writing?
I’m an idiot.
Having felt the fruits of routine daily composition. Having woken up at five for months on end. Having felt completely connected to the world, without a decibel of noise separating us; birds being birds, chirping their daily songs.
Somewhere, somehow, this seemingly intelligent human being (at least by academic standards), managed to quit writing. And not just for a week. Not a month, not a year.
It’s been two years since I’ve dipped into pooh’s honey jar, known to Sam Gray as writing. I’ve basically died.
I can’t even remember the last time I sat down, with a song on repeat, at some godforsaken hour of the day, and wrote. I will attempt to describe the feeling. God, was it ever a good feeling.
Imagine you’re naked. In a new country. On another planet. In a universe without planets (English limits our vocabulary beyond “planet,” but you get the idea). No one is around. You’re completely alone because you’re the first one there. You’re kind of like god, and you know this, but you don’t get caught up in it. You sit down to look at your environment, and you see a fountain, with trees in the background. After looking around, you find a squirrel jumping between trees. You get up and walk right through the fountain towards the squirrel. The fountain is now gone. You continue walking towards this squirrel. Little do you know, the entire universe is deleting itself behind you, but you don’t look back because you’re busy looking at this squirrel. Jumping. This disintegration catches up with you, as the trees around you in the distance start disappearing. You realize this, but you don’t give attention to it, because the squirrel has all of your attention. As the squirrel is mid-jump, you stop time. You rise up so the squirrel is around eye level. Not really floating, but suspended, you observe this squirrel. And you realize, squirrel’s have whiskers.
And that’s what I feel I do whenever I write. I feel like everything in the world disintegrates, except for the one thing I’m trying to observe. Regardless of the novelty of the topic, I’m always trying to observe basic things. It’s never anything special. I’m just trying to learn.
This is getting fun.
Reflecting on what the squirrel whiskers of my writing problem might be has left me confused and uncomfortable. I know the answer, and I’m reluctant to explore it, but let’s try.
1. I didn’t make time to write.
Objectively, I can’t write, without setting aside time to perform the task. No matter how hard I try. Physics won’t let me produce words without a computer or pen and paper. Not to say I haven’t written for two years, I just haven’t done the write-whatever-you-want-without-consequence type of writing I love to do. If you don’t make time for writing, you don’t write.
2. “I was busy.”
On the one hand, I’m being a bitch. On the other hand, I got into one of the best business schools in Canada while starting cheerleading for the first time, winning nationals for that, and working summer at a brand new, real job, in marketing. Oh, and a girlfriend was mixed in there somewhere (and you know how much time that takes). But on the better hand, I’m being a bitch. There will always be things to do. Unless I’m a doctor or investment banker working over 100 hours a week, I think I’ll always be able to find time to write. And even then, who can truly be too busy for 20 minutes a day?
3. I was terrified of being judged.
Without realizing it, not having in my writing has definitely made me more self-conscious. The fear became cancerous. I would write, but I would keep it to myself. I wouldn’t develop ideas. I wouldn’t care. I started blowing up. Without an outlet for all my thoughts, I think I sub-consciously started overflowing. I wrote tons of lists about nothing — most of which I end up deleting, without acting upon anything. I worried a lot. I know writing will reduce tons of this worry, self-consciousness, and weird ways Sam Gray decides to burst at the seams without a creative outlet.
The squirrel’s whiskers:
Fucking write every day.
“Fuck everything man, that’s what my conscious said,” to quote Earl Sweatshirt. None of anything matters. The only thing I’m working towards right now is seeing some more squirrel’s whiskers.
Now, I’m not going to say I’m going to write everyday. That would leave me open to failure. And failure terrifies me.
But I’m going to write everyday.
P.S. If you’re curious to see some of my old stuff: Check it out here.