The Drained Tank

There’s this great blog that I follow religiously (Full disclosure: I’m an atheist. Anyway..), it’s called The Accidental Cootchie Mama. On a post dated July 22nd (which you can read here), The Cootchie Mama asked,”How do you fill your creative tank?” She made a point that being creative can be draining. The constant need for making something, creating something out of nothing can leave you drained and depleted, and can make it harder and harder to keep coming up with new creative offerings.

When I read that for the first time, I didn’t quite agree. “Oh I totally love being creative,” I thought like all amateurs, “I don’t feel drained being creative, I feel rejuvenated.” I did not bother to consider that when I was reading that I was having more than 5-6 hours a day to myself. I was writing roughly two posts a day, I was getting favorable reviews from fellow bloggers, and I was totally loving it.

The last few weeks or so, have busted my bubble for once and all. I’ve been busy, like really busy with a lot of stuff. And so far as this blog is concerned, the last few weeks have been disastrous. It’s not just that page views have fallen and the last few articles I’ve written have been of such mediocre quality that nobody has even bothered leaving their thoughts on them. Those things have affected me, yes, but the biggest crisis I have faced in the last 20 days or so is that I have struggled to write, and that has rarely, if ever, happened to me.

Andra Watkins had mentioned in a comment on her post that stress can get in the way of creativity. I could not agree more, Cootchie Mama. I’d hate to admit that I’m stressed, I’d rather just say I’ve been busy. But the fact remains, there has been more than one occasion in the last month when I have sat looking at this empty “Add New Post” page, and have given up half an hour and three cigarettes later.

The stress, I have realised, affects us in more ways than one, so far as creativity is concerned. I’m not one of those geniuses who can just sit in front of a keyboard and have words and phrases flow from their fingers without having to make a conscious effort. If I take a half-hour to write a post, at least an hour’s thought go into it, right from the first inkling of the idea to rolling it over in my head and making corrections and revisions as I go. Those one or two hours has been hard to come by, and that has been it. Even when I have had some time to myself, have had a good idea in my head, I have been unable to carry it through. Because instead of the writing, I have found myself thinking about the emails I have to send in the next three hours, the corporate honchos that I have to call and suck up to and other such cheerful bits and pieces that come with responsibilities.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, please consider this an apology. I know I have failed to deliver almost everything that you come to my blog for . The pieces I have written have either been bland, or unnecessarily negative and hostile. And yes, Pappu has made one more unforgivable remark and I’ve left it alone. I’ll make it up to you, I promise.

The solution to all the above should be simple. As numerous people have been saying all along,  and as I have also advised quite a few people myself, we have to keep our work and personal lives separate. Unfortunately, like most good things in this world, that is also easier said than done. What am I going to do then? Well, not give up, for starters. I’m going home tomorrow for the weekend, and a meeting with Ladli should cheer me up considerably. And yes Cootchie Mama, the comments section in the post of yours had quite a few good suggestions as well. Maybe I’m gonna try a few.

Have a good weekend you all, and Eid Mubarak to you.

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4 thoughts on “The Drained Tank

    • You’re welcome, and it’s my pleasure, really. As you can see, we both are saying similar things. because of our jobs and all, we give less and less time to creativity. even for writing blogs, instead of coming up with new things, we end up posting easy stuff like movie reviews and stuff, just to keep things going.

  1. Thanks for writing this and for linking back to me.

    I think one of the keys to creativity is to approach it with the expectation that what you are making, you are making for YOU. For YOUR enjoyment. For YOUR edification, education or whatever. As soon as I start worrying about my stats or about why people aren’t reading, my creativity plummets. I am pouring my creative energy into worrying about something that really doesn’t matter in the end. That doesn’t take away the stresses both job and life can pile on, but maybe it’s food for thought.

    • You have a fair point there. Yes, this blog is for my personal satisfaction more than anything else. And yes, bothering about stats and likes and follows only builds up the pressure. However, what is also true is that I didn’t quite notice that the quality has fallen until public reaction pointed that way. Maybe I need to be more objective about evaluating my own work. And yes, thank you for that last bit. That certainly is food for thought, and I’ll remember it.

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