Homework

I thought I had writers block. I’ve been lacking motivation and ideas lately and was sure I was going through writers block again.

I had writer’s block before and it sucked. I spent a year and a half trying to write the first chapter to one of my books. Everything I wrote was uninspiring, so eventually, I just shelved the book and did other things.

That was a sad period in my life.

Once I came out of the writers block, I determined I was going to do everything possible to not get stuck in that thing again.

Then a pandemic struck. It’s hard to find inspiration when your view is the same day in and day out. Not just that, I was missing the motivation I needed to get this newsletter out on a weekly basis.

Then I found this comic and I realized that writer’s block wasn’t my issue—it was the ‘homework’.

I hated homework when I was a kid. I remember when I was nine or ten years old, my mom made me sit at the kitchen table just so I could focus on my homework.

It didn’t work.

Instead I sat there, looking out of the window, playing with a lone dice, watching my older sister, who, of course, had already finished her homework and was playing with her dolls. I hated having to focus on something I had no interest in and this newsletter has turned that to me. I don’t mean to say that I don’t have an interest in doing this. No, at this point because of this time, it has become homework to me; it is the one question on the test you’re taking that asks for 200 words describing the treaty of such-and-such that you don’t remember reading about; it’s the project you wait until the night before it’s due to start; it’s the assignment you don’t expend any effort on because you already know that the highest grade you’re going to get is a 69 (or a 2; or whatever grading system schools use today).

I hesitated for a number of years to start a newsletter because I didn’t want to put just anything out there. I wanted what I wrote to be reflective of who I am, but also of where I’m at. And I think, for the most part, I’ve achieved that, but sometimes I start thinking about what I can change or what I can do to reflect the current state of affairs, or what I think my cause is, and I begin to veer from the things I am good at. That throws me off my game and I end up where I am now–uninspired and unmotivated, thinking I have writers block, when I just don’t want to do my homework.

Yeah, I overthink things.

A lot.

So the lesson here is, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I love writing. I love writing about writing, about publishing, about books I’ve read and films I’ve seen. I love making up stories. I love painting pictures with my words. And to be honest, right now, that’s all I need to focus on.

If we want to go deeper, we can also say that another lesson here is that we don’t need to change as much as we think we do. Sometimes we need familiarity to get us through something, like, say, a pandemic. Change is inevitable, it can be good, it can be bad. But there are times when familiarity is what we need. Familiarity is what’s going to get us through tough times, until we are in the position to change and change in a healthy way.

Oh wait, that’s me veering again …

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