I have tremendous admiration for folks who are able to exit a social engagement for their own sake and no one else’s. Guiltless, they protect their time alone. What intrigues me most their finesse in marking the end of an interaction. Sometimes without a flurry of apologies. but a firm and fond nod ‘goodbye, till next time’.
Other people are not the problem.
It is I, the one interacting with the stimuli to prolong the distraction, that requires resolving. Whether I know it or not, I am staying longer in one place to continue staying away from what I need to do. More often than I’d like to admit, it is a task that requires stringing sentences together to form one cohesive story. Sometimes it takes the shape of an unanswered Instagram message. Other days it is an email with necessary attachments.
Cinema depicts the agony of writing as a wastepaper basket overflowing with crumpled drafts. Or a blank MS Word page with a blinking cursor. Or the din of silence in a dark room with a dripping faucet surrounding a crazy-haired person. I tend to disagree. The true appearance of a suffering is a clean house. At least for me, a tidy room and spotless mirrors are signs that no writing is taking place in this vicinity.
Over the past month, I have designed several remedies. Some are complex bear traps that ensure my physical being is situated in the space for writing to be done. Others are more communal and comforting. All these experiments stem from one simple idea: permission.
You and I have the permission to write what we need to write, right now. We can allow ourselves this liberty or we can curb it. The permits we provide ourselves are the ones that differentiates us. In this regard, we succeed in what we give ourselves opportunity to do. I think about this a lot when my room is at it’s neatest.
On the second and fourth Tuesday of the month, from this week till 23rd November, I will be running a virtual space for folks who want to write something to completion. For one hour, your email debt can be forgiven or your most challenging paragraph could be formed. We’ll sit together with our respective small, simple and heavily procrastinated goals, and work towards dismantling the difficulties that plague it.
I call it ‘Die Die Must Reply’
If you want to be part of this seven-seater accountability experiment, reply me for the relevant information. Together, we’ll give each other permission.
May you have all the right questions,
On repeat this week
Indrani Perera is an absolute force of nature in the Melbourne literary community. She is actively seeking out knowledge and documenting the creative processes of poets within her reach. It is an honour to be part of Pocketry.
My father said
“It is so nice to know that while I am aging, I am still wanted. Still valid. Worth something.”