Wandering through the desert on your own, laid bare before a grand jury of plants and dust. The way it creeps into your head and heart. The way it grinds in between your bones, where the joints twist to push you forward grows weary as these tiny pieces of stone line the surface of your frame and push against it. Making every pop in your joints something you grow to worry about.
But the worry doesn’t last long in the hot sun, as it beats on your shoulders and neck. Through the thin cotton rag you draped across your back and laid in the oasis you found four months ago, hoping for some ounce of moisture is within. You hope the piece of fabric is enough, but with every breath you push forward, searching for a temple, a city, even a small palm tree you can rest upon for only a moment.
But that is all it would take, isn’t it? Only a moment to shift where your mind is and change your entire reality.
I work like a machine. At least, I tell myself I do. I want to be that person who can sit down and crank out project after project as if they are simple tasks, like formulas I just need to complete.
It’s easy to fall prey to our own ideals. Wanting something so bad that it drives you to the point of solidarity is fine, to an extent. If your focus evolves to a true solidarity, then you’ll see the things you once loved become tasks you should complete. Like the passion inside of your work became a tally to see how much of one thing you could handle doing at a time. You set out this list of goals and the only thing that mattered was doing them to completion.
I am especially guilty of this, I want the things I do to be done so I can work on the next thing I have, but I had to stop a few days ago and ask myself what the purpose of it all was.
If I am only writing to meet some sort of end goal, then why am I writing in the first place? It is a difficult task to take on, and if the end result is my goal then I would be wise to select a task other than writing. One that is much easier to accomplish. Basket weaving. Knitting. Even dog training. I could train forty pets in the same time it would take to write six novels. But writing those novels, this creative process I’ve entangled myself within is nothing if there is no soul within the words I’m penning.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed. My goal-oriented mind often absorbs itself in accomplishing a task for the sake of accomplishing a task. To simply get the shit done and to focus on something else. Which is fine, I suppose, for a D&D campaign. To tell the story and build it with my friends, and then when it is done perhaps record it for memory’s sake.
Of course, that doesn’t work so well with relationships, living day to day, or pursuing a passion.
The funny thing is that I felt so overwhelmed by all of these tasks I laid out for myself that I elected to panic and hide away in video games or sleep instead of getting back on track. I tightened my schedule, and in doing so, my grasp on my joy, so much that I didn’t have a way out. I just felt strangled all the time.
It was funny to find that I was strangling myself for these past days, to be sure.
What I’m saying here is that it is okay to take a break. Everything doesn’t have to be sectioned off into a schedule. Everything doesn’t have to be comprised of strict order and nothing else. We should take time to enjoy the way the world spins while we set about doing whatever we desire.
I focus my struggles through all manner of lenses. I inspect myself and what I’m going through, and I end up venturing through games with those feelings in mind. Dark Souls is one of many, I build these characters with a fiction in progress diluting my thoughts. I created a girl named Ryn for that purpose. I gamed through Dark Souls as I considered the possibilities for this character that seemed to spring from nowhere. As I poured free time into these games, this character came to life within me. Taking a shape and a form inside of my mind that I can’t shake.
She is calling to be written, she is calling to be brought to life.
But that interfered with my plan, so would I have been so courageous as to write two books at once?
I asked myself this and felt the pressure of my schedule bearing down on me. Losing hours of sleep or wasting hours’ worth of valuable work time simply to figure out my next step. Whatever I wanted to do would lead me, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do because I wanted to do it all.
It was around this point when I realized I was only 25 and didn’t need to focus all of my attention on getting these stories finished. I set goals for a guideline, I don’t need to write every book I want to write by the time I’m thirty. It will be impossible.
But of course, I was born to do the impossible, wasn’t I?
I think so. That is what birthed the passion of creation inside of me. To make something that is impossible, that is magical, that is worth every second I spend on it.
That is a grand achievement, I think.
To get there, sometimes you gotta take a break.
It is easy to be overwhelmed by nothing, but there is nothing that can overwhelm you if you don’t let it.
If you enjoyed this, please consider checking out my website. I am working on starting a youtube channel + I’d love to hear what you have to say! I’ll be posting a (late) analysis of my last video on the blog this coming sunday. (8.5) and a new video will be out on Tuesday.