Give me a topic to write on right now, and I could write an essay. Nah, a thesis. It’s one of those times when I just must write something, or die trying. Anyone who lives for words can relate. It’s just so damn hard when you actually want to write, but you can’t think of anything to write. Literally nothing comes to your mind, and it’s so hard you get quite depressed. In those days before the tech age, it was quite easy to write, even if your muse didn’t really give you any fresh ideas. Just write something repeatedly–say, for example,
The cat sat on the mat.
But ever since MS Word and word processing was invented, even that has been simplified. All hail Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V… not.
The cat sat on the mat. The cat sat on the mat. The cat sat on the mat. The cat sat on the mat. The cat sat on the mat. The cat sat on the mat. The cat sat on the mat. The cat sat on the mat. The cat sat on the mat. The cat sat on the mat. The cat sat on the mat. The cat sat on the mat. The cat sat on the mat. The cat sat on the mat. The cat sat on the mat. The cat sat on the mat. The cat sat on the mat. The cat sat on the mat.
…you get the point. I hope.
This is often described as writer’s block, I believe. Not having the ideas–or words–flow out of you. But see here, I just haven’t written enough to be afflicted by that (extremely painful) disease… yet. In my mind I’ve already written an award-winning novel, have an output averaging three books a year, regularly write for periodicals, and am slated to be the next Nobel-winner in Literature. But reality hasn’t been as rosy so far. I’m just a 15-year old facing my secondary school-leaving examinations by the end of the year, and really shouldn’t even be here doing this write… err, right, now. What the hell, I should have my laptop packed away in some distant corner while quadratic equations and the French Revolution should be my constant (and only) companions right now (in case you’re wondering, quadratic equations and the French Revolution are a potent and deadly combination, guaranteed to kill). In fact, I doubt any teacher of mine reading this right now would approve of me “frittering away my time” on “something which will provide no material benefit whatsoever” while my studious classmates (God bless their trusting hearts) are probably sitting right now at their books trying to understand what on earth their textbooks are really trying to tell them. Sometimes, even I feel what I’m doing is of no use in the long run, that it’s what I write on my answer sheets that counts.
Gah. I don’t care. Let them all keep talking. We’ll just show them later. Answer sheets may count in the long run, but it’s what I write for myself–and others–to read, just to read–that counts in the even longer run.
But what about the run even longer than that one? Well, in that case, absolutely nothing counts for anything. We’re just highly developed animals who live their individual lives, die their own deaths, and one day will go extinct. What we thought yesterday, or said today, or will do tomorrow, doesn’t mean anything. Contrary to what we think, we’re not immortal. We are finite, just like everything else in the universe. What we write or compose might be remembered for a few centuries, then be forgotten, just like everything else. In the grand scheme of things, we are nothing more than a few specks or dust. The human race as a whole is just one ball of dung. Don’t ask me which animal the dung came from. 😛
I see I have come across as either highly philosophical or highly nihilistic in the above paragraph. Probably both. Anyway, what I meant to say was this: don’t sweat the small stuff, because it doesn’t really matter in the end.
And before that, I meant to say: do what you love to do. In the end, no one will care how useful or productive your life has been. It all comes down to you. Did you enjoy your life fully? No? Then it’s not been worthwhile, since in the end no one else needs to be satisfied, only you do. And likewise, you’re the only one who can control your own happiness. It doesn’t really matter who doesn’t like you or admire you or otherwise think you’re the best thing that ever came their way bar chocolate ice cream. Are you satisfied? Yes? Great job, your life is awesome. No? Make yourself satisfied. I won’t say “don’t be productive or useful”, because that would be selfish, and I don’t say you should be that drastic. But make sure that there’s some time meant just for you.
And before that, I meant to say: I’m going to be a writer.
And before that, I meant to say: I wish I had something to write about.
And before that: …
Ah, well, at least I got my wish. I can’t really say I don’t have anything to write about now. Not after 883 words. And counting…