I can’t say that some writing days are bad. Because as an artist of any kind, I think we bear the privilege to see life from a different perspective. Where no days are necessarily bad, they are just more challenging and less conducive for us to produce art. Having said that, every part that makes that particular day beautiful and ugly are still worth observing, understanding and pondering upon. So, I won’t say that there are such a thing as bad writing days.
But I do want to pour my thoughts on days when it gets so challenging to overcome this cloud of emotions and facts and just life in general, that the best thing we could put on paper is a full stop. Not even a short paragraph, not even a sentence, not even a word. I don’t even think there’s even a letter that would fit the situation. A comma won’t do because it opens a conversation. A question mark goes the same. An exclamation mark would signify some sort of an attack. A colon, semicolon, apostrophe and the rest just don’t seem to make sense. Except for one: A full stop.
I love this particular punctuation because it perfectly explains the halt that all artists need to go through. A moment (or moment(s) because they will definitely happen more than once) that allows us to rest and rethink. Recalibrate the reasons we embark on this artistic journey to begin with and start again. Find those deepest parts of us that inspire us in the first place and go from there to, not so much start from zero, but resume what we have paused for the sake of our sanity.
I think, it’s not just how our minds are wired. How muses, even though they are technically there around us all the time, require a rested mind to go through ourselves and connect the wires in our heads to create something beautiful. It speaks a lot about the way we live. That even in the most in-order, minimum-risk and routine lifestyle, we still somehow need to pause and have a moment of silence. This is when we come clean and be true to ourselves. This is when all the ugly breakdowns, the screaming and roaming around the room feeling sick of reality come in. And when they do come in, the most powerful encounters within us happen. Because we are finally willing to accept the fact that we are at a full stop, in need of a new sentence to resume. A new goal, a new spirit, a new heart.
And until we accept and embrace our full stops as times in our lives when we are being refilled before we move forward to take another step, we will continue to operate drained, tired and sick of being alive at all. Because we just don’t really see the point at it anymore. But when we do allow the silence to sink in, we begin to slow down. Give ourselves space to make sense of things and listen.
Psalms 23: 1-3 (MSG)
God, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.