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Writing About Not Writing

Writing About Not Writing

After seven months of not writing for my own platform, I am back. And I am here to stay. 

Let’s just address the elephant in the room. I have not properly written a full post since February. I think this has to be the longest hiatus I have gone without writing since I decided to commit to writing. Well, I did write a few posts here and there but never came around to completing it because I never really liked how it sounded, I felt the flow was all over the place and I just did not fully resonate with whatever I was writing. I guess I just did not feel what I always used to feel when I indulge in writing.

To be honest, that feeling really sucked. The longer I did not write, the more I was intimidated by the act of writing. The more I avoided writing, the more crappy I felt about myself for giving it up, which leads me to feel I feel I am in no position to write all these self-development topics that I love. After all, who am I to share these tips when I myself are not pursuing what I set out to achieve.

So I buried myself deeper and deeper into this dark headspace of denial and push writing to the back of my head as far as I could. But the irony is that it did not help at all. It just made me feel less of myself and running away from what used to drive me. 

I was always proud that writing was such a huge part of me, and to have that piece taken away from me, I started to feel self-doubt and lack of confidence. I started to avoid writing, and even reading at some point, and put myself in this vicious cycle of avoidance (by watching sitcoms again and again and again) and numbing that nagging guilt that I had in my head about giving up something I committed fully to.

Then just today, I read this article about writing (well I could not help it, I was not ready to give it up entirely), and I saw this incredibly cliche quote which I have probably seen before, but this time it hit me.

“Writers write. If you are not writing, you are not a writer”.

Oh how simple and direct this concept was! And that jolted me. If I continue to avoid writing the way I am doing it, sooner or later, I would lose this wonderful label that I could describe as a part of me. If I stop writing for months, and then slowly a year and then two, this entire writing thing would no longer be a part of ‘emily’.

That scared me so much that I set my mind to write this very night. Which is why despite a day at work and coming home to a session of yoga and meal preps, I am still typing this out. I told myself, if I could not find myself to write about anything else because of that doubt running through my mind all this while, then I shall write about not writing. Because at this point, I just really, really wanted to write, and to get this hurdle over with.

I know that perhaps it is a pretentious thing. The fact that what motivated me to write again was the fact I was afraid to no longer be a writer.

But here’s the thing. As we are navigating through life and building ourselves, we find bits and pieces of ourselves that we take pride in. It could be as simple as how you like that you are a morning person, or as complex as how you like that you have this innate persuasion skill in which you can influence people and make changes in the world. No matter how small or big, we set out to create parts of ourselves that make us proud of who we are.

The truth is that there is nothing wrong about that. I have said this before so many times, I do not believe in “finding yourself” or romanticising that journey of self discovery. But rather, I believe true and true, that you create yourself. From how you dress a certain way to portray your own style, to the way you act with your loved ones and how you build relationships with them; you weave parts of yourself, well, to become You.

When you start to lose hold of the things that you take pride in, or at least the parts of you that makes you feel comfortable in your own skin, you start to feel this sense of imbalance and discrepancy. It is as if what you envision yourself to be is not in line with what you are. 

This is why when people lose their jobs they feel incredibly lost. This is why some new parents feel like their parenthood has taken away their self-identity because they longer have time to do what they used to enjoy. This is why people feel so empty when they lose someone they love.

This sense of disorientation is scary. We do not want to feel like something that is a part of us, be it within ourselves or around us, is threatened.

It is not something easy to admit, especially when we are taught all our lives to be flexible and resilient (don’t get me wrong, this is definitely crucial to survive in this society). But maybe its okay that there are parts of you that you take pride in and want to hold close to your heart. Maybe its okay for us to hang on to parts of ourselves that make us feel 100% who we are. Maybe it will do us good that there are things that matter so much to us, and it is okay to admit that.

What is important though, is that we need to prioritise what matters to us. We take that little extra time and effort to nurture what makes us feel utterly fulfilled, be it is your family that you would do anything to protect, a certain hobby or passion that drives you and makes you excited; and hold it close to you.

For me, one of it is writing. And its important for me to know now, that its what makes me feel content and fulfilled, and best of all, 100% me. And even when I feel lost or in a rut, I should run towards it instead of away from it.

And I will hold it close to me for as long as I exist.

One Comment

  1. Goh Choo Meng Goh Choo Meng

    Writing is in your DNA. The other component of this main DNA in you is reading! Both these activities compliment each other. Keeping on with writing and reading will make you who you really are!….

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