When You’re at a Loss

Sometimes everything feels strange and at a loss, like it doesn’t make sense. I’ve been through these days, man, and let me tell you – they’re not really the good kind. Simply put, you don’t want to be going through one of those days where the world seems so much bigger than you.

Anyhow, the saddest part in the story is that when you’re experiencing one of those bad days, it seems like every aspect of your life gets caught up in that wicked web. You can’t dissociate one thing and just expect it to work while everything else is falling apart.

It’s the same in writing, and whenever I have one of those days I immediately see it reflecting in my work. There are days when writing seems to get the better of me and suck me into its portal, and I find myself drinking and strumming on my keyboard with unmatched joy that almost seems like folly. That type of writing has made me blow off hot girls and other people in general, and got me glued to my desk chair for countless hours instead.

But there’s also the other kind of writing – the kind that blends in well with the bad days. It’s the kind of writing we’ve all experienced at some point of our lives: writer’s block, crappy writing, and other such mishaps related to the written word that never fail to put us down and beat us up with a stick.

It’s the kind that feels both time-consuming and useless – the kind that makes you want to stop and question what you’re doing, or simply throw it all up in the air and say, “What the hell is wrong with me?”

It’s so unbearable and irritating that it makes you feel you’re a fool for wasting your time on it while there are other things to live for in this world. It’s that type of writing which makes me loathe my work and any type of work in general and start drinking more.

Well, at least booze doesn’t go through off-days.

One time I was going through this bad writing phase, and I suddenly lost it and found myself smashing my laptop screen with my fist before throwing it on the floor. I felt it was the only way to get rid of those bad lines I had written – destroy them. Erasing wasn’t good enough at this point – and trust me, it wouldn’t do you much good. You’ll keep running into these bad lines you’ve written, like a film playing inside your head – whether you’re out for a jog, or sitting at the dinner table or at the crapper.

Bad writing doesn’t go away easily. Bad days don’t go away easily.

So yeah, I guess I’m not immune to bad writing. I guess I don’t always worship that craft the way I should. Sometimes when it treats me badly I find the need to move away from it – I’d like to think of it as giving it space, and giving myself space to heal from the damage it caused me. I like to run away from it, from reading other works, from thinking about it. I like to abstain myself from it, and I think that’s what hurts me the most – even more than bad writing.

Because writing is like every other great thing: it always has a dark side. Whenever it is revealed, it degrades it a bit, it shatters the illusion of perfection we’ve grown accustomed to know; diminishes it. But hell, aren’t we all full of bad things?

At least writing can recover from it.

Anyhow, here I am in the middle of a small office around midnight, sitting on a chair with a broken leg and writing on my laptop. I always carry my laptop around with me in case a surge of good stuff comes in – you’d want to be there when it does.

But I can’t remember how or why I got here – it probably has to do with alcohol and a bad hangover.

Anyway, the point is that I’ve just come out of one of those bad nights awake and alive and I’m writing full throttle and finally the good stuff’s kicked in. Now I’m here to catch it.

There’s a lesson here somewhere (probably) about persevering and believing in yourself and not giving up and that sort of shit, but I’ll leave those blank spots for you to fill as you please.

All I can tell you is keep writing.

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