Some days my thoughts feel feeble. They fail to meet my standard of creativity and common sense, so I dissociate myself from them. I hold back moments of meditation, clip the wings of my imagination, and stifle inspiration. I am Elyon’s Paradise, Chef of soulful buffets; no sour thought should slip out of my thumb. Meticulous with this mental gatekeeping, I watch myself get detached from writing.
These days I’m careful to call myself a writer. I do not think I deserve such honour conferred on responsible wordsmiths who have paid their dues through consistent documentation of their thought processes. These guys show up at work, wrestle with their keyboards (or notepads), and smear blank sheets with words. Whether those words eventually find a place amongst drafts or in the recycle bin, they at least get a benefit of doubt; something my writing is frequently deprived of.
Sometimes I darn the quest for common sense and give my “feeble” thoughts the benefit of doubt too, but no sooner do they surface do I erase them from my memory, including the recycle bin. My obsession with refined words keeps me hyper sensitive to my own detriment (or not, I’m honestly not sure about anything right now). Words survive my mental gatekeeping only to face restless eyes darting about them in search of a creative rot. The bottom line? I ain’t sure about my writing anymore.
Maybe I’m seeking a new kinda validation, something to restore my confidence and reinstate my “writer-ness”. But how much can that accomplish? An applause feels great, but I’ve had plenty. You write goods, nice ones, awws, this is breathtakings, and the usual compliments are all grand for a writer wannabe (which is a more convenient title than writer), but when they come once in a blood moon, they feel depressive. And this isn’t the readers’ fault. A writer wannabe chose to shush the voices in her head seeking expression because they didn’t seem creatively buffet-like enough.
This blog was set up primarily to nourish souls, and the vision hasn’t changed. But sometimes I feel the weight of this vision the same way I feel the burden of entering any kitchen. I am a good cook who loves the idea of creative and spicy meals, but absolutely hates the process of making them. It’s the reason I could go hungry for hours even though all the ingredients needed for a great meal are staring at me. I carry this attitude into my writing, obviously.
I used to think cooking was a passion until I realized the biggest pull towards the kitchen is having hungry folks around. That’s why a friend who’s assigned herself the General Overseer of my eating habits thinks living alone is a disastrous adventure I should never embark on. To her, that would be the harbinger of my eventual disappearance. But I wish this pull towards the kitchen influences my writing as well. I mean, if I cannot write for me, why not for my committed readers?
The hunger for what I write isn’t a thing undisclosed. I’ve had readers send me emails, and reminders on Messenger and WhatsApp about not cooking anything on the blog for a while, and I feel ashamed each time. Such reminders make me feel like a mom who leaves her babies hungry just because she doesn’t feel like cooking. And as much as I feel obligated to do something about this, I feel somewhat powerless.
I am one human who hates doing anything under pressure, no matter how crazy I am about it. And nothing currently sends my head to a thousand places like writing. I feel the rushing of words through my mind, and the pressure of sieving out sensible contents from all the mental babble. About two years ago, a friend advised me to allow the words pour. He warned me against tempering with the first draft. But two years down the line I’m still the make-sense-or-get-off-my-screen kinda writer (wannabe). I am too careful to allow words bereft of spirit, soul, and common sense, sizzle through my readers’ senses. The need to always bring on the creative juices thus leaves me overwhelmed.
Where do I go from here, from this place of a writer who absolutely hates writing to one who adores writing? Is this feeling even sane- is it okay to have a blog I’m scared of visiting because I do not know how to reconcile the silence in here with the voices in my head? They say no genuine writer enjoys writing; should I embrace that as validation for this feeling of unworthiness? They also say a real writer darns all detachment from writing, and just writes. Does that explain this new self-imposed writer wannabe status?
Maybe I’m just a pseudo-writer in search of creative processes that would write out themselves. Perhaps this isn’t as much a feeling of feebleness of thought as the desire to allow words just laze around my head in peace. I mean, what’s the rush? Some days I’m hungry, other days I’m a glutton. Okay, this isn’t about food dear foodies; but you get the drift? Maybe… I’m just this baby girl who wants to sleep, wake up and find her works published around the web by some supernatural wordsmith.
Post Edit: So my friend asked me what the baby girl lifestyle is about, and I thought you might want to know as well.
The baby girl lifestyle is the lifestyle where you don’t sweat to get beautiful things. Na dem dey rush you. Like, you just sleep, wake up and fiam, the world has another Chimamda Adichie. Hehehe.