Writer’s Block: A Remedy

It’s really something that happens to not only writers, but everyone. There will come a point where you’re not sure what to create – be it drawing,writing, composing…

You think you know the answer to it. A lot of people will just say, you need to just push through it. NO. Writing badly is still bad writing. Of course you can just take it as practice, but let’s not pretend that sometimes pushing through garbage means that you’re just pushing garbage around.

The important thing is to look at why you do something. Remember Simon Sinek’s – Start With Why video? Well, why do you write? Why do people write? Why create something? What purpose does your creation serve? So maybe you say you like to write. That’s fine and a valid reason for doing so. But ultimately, most people create something to be consumed. A chef creates a meal to be eaten. A producer creates a film to be watched. And so why does a writer write for? They write something in order for it to be read.

So what do you do when you hit a block? The natural antithesis is to consume when you can’t create. When a chef runs out of ideas about what to cook, they probably go and eat something new. Although they could just wing it and try to cook something new, it’s quite possible that they will create something magnificent or something totally inedible. And the thing is sometimes failure doesn’t feel like the mother of success and you stop doing things altogether.

The truth is: it is much better to take a backseat as an audience member and watch a show with different actors if you yourself can’t seem to pull of your part. There is something to learn from everyone. If you take Maria Callas for example, considered one of the most influential opera singers of the 20th century – who would stay at the music conservatory for 10 hours a day until the last pupil finished. Her teacher asked why she did this and she said:

“Even with the least talented pupil, he can teach you something that you, the most talented, might not be able to do.”

Maria Callas, soprano

She never thought she was ‘above’ anyone in terms of learning and that holds true for anyone. I once came across a violin teacher who played beautifully and yet he humbly stated, “I’m still learning.” A chef trying to create a new dish, would benefit from eating another person’s dish, as well as sampling new and different flavors. Like a chef who likes to cook and eat, a writer must also love to write and read. And that’s not just tasting your own dishes or reading your own work.

Like fellow writer, Cristian Mihai says, you can often hit inspiration to write by reading. Yes, reading. I’ve found that I’m usually able to spark something when I’m actually consuming someone else’s content. It can be a book, a poem, a blog post, an opinion piece, lyrics… almost anything. And because I’ve done just that, I’ve actually been able to write this piece. So next time you hit a block or a wall, remember it’s best to just step away for the moment, go take a break, go on a walk, stretch, read a book, watch a show, play a game, drink some water because the princess is not in this castle tool that you need to break down that wall with or dig around is somewhere else.

Writer’s Block

Photo by Janson K. from Pexels

Sorry about the last post (for the few who did see it). It was horribly worded, didn’t really have any real purpose and was a bunch of scrambled thoughts that should have never really made it’s way to being a published post.

If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t written a blog post for over a month now (discounting that last piece).

I’m suffering a little from writer’s block and sometimes it just helps me scratch some ideas out. So if you did see what I wrote, then you can take that as a page from a scratch pad. In the same way that artists have sketch pads, I find it easier to jot some ideas down. But like I said before, some ideas should just stay the way they are. As ideas. And nothing more. Sometimes ideas like that just aren’t really conducive to anything, to be honest.

It was really a mistake, so I’ve since pinned it. Just like ripping a page out from a pad and then scrunching it up into a ball and chucking it into the bin. And you know what? That’s okay. I feel like this post is more defined than the last. We make mistakes, admit and learn from them and move on.

The whole point with anything is to leave it better than you found it.

That shall be my mantra.

Now that I’ve written this, strangely I’ve actually had a few more ideas pop up in my head about what to write. It’s really weird how inspiration hits you at the oddest hours. I’m not saying that these are polished ideas, but I can tell you that I can see myself doing something with them.

Guess it’s true, sometimes you have to fail to win.

Failure is the mother of success, after all.

Real Neat Blog Award

It’s taken me awhile to respond – have been MIA generally from a lot of the social media stuff but I’ve been tagged for the Real Neat Blog Award!

Thank you to Megan from A Geeky Gal for tagging me (and if you don’t know her blog, then please do go and check it out! I’m not just saying that because she tagged me but she writes about a lot of geeky things like gaming and cosplay which is likely to resonate with you if you’re reading this).

The Rules:

  • Display the Award Logo.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog.
  • Answer the questions of the one who nominated you.
  • Nominate 7-10 bloggers.
  • Ask them seven questions.

Now, I’m late in answering these questions but at the same time I do want to answer them. So here’s my attempt (better late than never, right?):

Megan’s Questions:

  • If you have a New Year’s resolution, what is it? If you don’t, what is one thing you’re working on for yourself this year?

    Hmmm… I can’t really say that I do new year’s resolutions but I do definitely have goals in mind. I’ve noticed in the past however that if I announce it publicly (usually to a friend or on social media) that I don’t really have the willpower to actually accomplish it anymore. The reason why I used to do this was because I felt like someone would hold me accountable, but the truth is they would cheer me on regardless and I’d feel good, but never actually complete what I set out to do.

    Then I came across this article about why sharing goals isn’t always a good idea and everything made sense. So these days, I just say I’m working on something general. I will say that something that is on my radar is my health and I’d like to continue to lower my cholesterol levels to a be within the normal range (general enough, but something I’m working towards, right?)

  • What is something you are looking forward to this year?

    Though we’ve gotten off to a bad start with things like the bushfires in Australia and coronavirus breaking out in China, I believe there’s always something to look forward to. One of these is definitely the new Animal Crossing: New Horizons game launching next month. You bet I’m putting my pre-order in! I’ve dabbled with the mobile version, Pocket Camp which was released more than 2 years ago but I think it’s really great that they’re returning to console. Especially since I just bought a Switch last year.

  • Tell me one thing you love about yourself and expand on it if you’d like.

    My smile. That is all.

    I actually love laughing so I guess I’ll say that I appreciate my ability to laugh at things. Even if they’re not that funny. Maybe I just have a low threshold for laughter.

  • What is something you achieved last year that you are proud of?

    Launched this blog! I had been thinking about it for sometime, because I’ve always felt like it was always easier to express myself in writing rather than talking. Sometimes I run out of breath or water when I’m talking a lot on stream, so it’s nice to let my fingers do the talking every now and then.

  • Tell me about something you’ve watched or read or played lately that you’d recommend to me.

    A little indie game called Coffee Talk. I initially came to know about this game because another streamer and friend of mine, RoninuWu was playing a demo of the game. What drew me in was the beautiful pixel art, the chill music and the dialogue. In fact, this is probably what keeps me playing the game right now – I’ve still yet to complete it, but I am enjoying it and looking to write a review when I’m done 🙂

  • What are three things that you are happy about right now?

    – That I actually have enough money in my bank account to actually buy and replace things without having to worry about it (goodbye unemployed grad days!)

    – Though I may have few friends and family around me, it’s nice to know (and be reminded) that they care about me.

    – Made it another year through life! Leveling up soon 😀

  • What is one hobby you’d like to take up this year?

    I used to paint and draw as a child, but somehow I decided to put that on the backburner as I grew older. I’d like to take this up again and hone my skills and gain a sense of mastery with it. Obviously we’re all work-in-progress, but if I can keep learning and improving then I would say that is the (artistic) direction I want to go in.

    That, or maybe I’ll finally go and enrol in a martial arts class.

    — JP

Now my nominees are *drum roll please*:

Later Levels – a neat blog by Kim who writes about gaming as we gain experience in the real world and in game.

Leeks Plays – an avid Simmer at heart, Krista has been a long-time gaming that gives her thoughts on tech, gaming and lifestyle.

McKenna Talks About Games – pure discussion and a look at video games ranging with a focus on the Pokémon, Animal Crossing and Legend of Zelda franchises.

Everything is Bad For You – an attorney by profession, escaping through games, anime and other weeby pursuits is how this blog rolls.

Gao Li Occasionally Reviews – probably self-explanatory, but he’s talking about a variety of games here.

Why We Play Games – Kelly shares her in-depth thoughts on games and life in general, while analyzing why we choose to push that button.

Tales from the Backlog – because nobody wants to acknowledge the elephant in the room for people like us, except for Carlton.

And my questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite book? If you don’t have one, what is a piece of literature that you’d recommend for me to read and why?
  • If you only got to play one game for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
  • Where’s the next place you’d like to travel to and what are the reasons?
  • How do you life your coffee or tea?
  • Do you have any allergies?
  • Are you a morning lark or a night owl?
  • Who’s that artist or band you have on endless repeat when you’re looking for something to listen to?

Feel free to answer as little to as much as you like (or even not at all), I had fun writing this up and this has helped me break this dry spell and set some writing prompts for the future. Thanks again Megan for letting me do this and thanks for reading!

What is Love?

Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

If you start singing Baby Don’t Hurt Me, then you’re probably right.

Because love is basically giving someone permission to break your heart but in the wistful hope that they won’t. It’s a little bit like giving someone access to your car and hoping that they won’t scratch it or even worse, crash it and make it a total wreck.

Instead, you’d hope that they would take care of it and treat it as the precious thing it is. It means that person that you give your heart to (and you may share it with more than one person in different ways) should not take it for granted. After all, you too can choose to hand your heart to someone else. You have choices.

So be careful in who you give your heart to. You wouldn’t just give your car out to anybody to test-drive.

Happy Valentine’s Day, whether you’re single or partnered. Make sure that you take good care of your heart, not just today but for life.


Photo by Jonathan Meyer from Pexels

Ho ho ho
Ornaments on show
Lights that dazzle
I‘ve eaten too much already
Did you say seconds though?
As I grab another plate
Year coming to an end
Slouched over the couch

P.S. I hope you’ve all been eating well, here’s my first poem on this blog!

Final Destination: Home

So I took the wrong bus home the other day.

I was almost certain the bus driver had changed the route display after I got on. I finished later than usual from the office since I picked up a bit of work from my senior colleague to give to our boss that night. Amongst the interruptions to bus services, I rushed down to catch the next available bus.

I had this gut feeling that I probably should have gotten off at one of the earlier stops, since I could have caught a train home from there. But I didn’t.

So my heart sank a little further as I noticed we wouldn’t be stopping where I had intended to go, so I just got off the last stop. I knew where I was, but I was one suburb over from home.

Around me, there were middle-aged patrons sipping their coffee at the local café and there was a small gas station across the road. I knew that I wasn’t too far from home, so I quickly Googled for any buses that were going back home. There was, but since I didn’t know where the actual stop was, I punched in the address into Google Maps for a street view. Right across the road, near the gas station.

As I was crossing the road back, I saw an elderly homeless man sleeping at the bus shelter. He looked like he was in a deep sleep and I didn’t really want to disturb him so I stood a little ways just outside.

ETA: 5 mins.

I saw the bus approaching, so I waved my arm a little. The bus stopped. I got on and the lovely bus driver responded with a friendly “hello” when I said “”hi”.

As I got off the bus, I said thank you to my driver and wished her a goodnight. She replied, “No worries, have a lovely night.”

Sometimes, you just have to trust that things are going to turn out okay. Sometimes you think you know where you’re going, but you really don’t. And sometimes, you have no idea where you’re supposed to be going at all.

You’ll work it out though.

After all, there are many paths that lead to the same destination.

Fires and Floods

Now I know I’m about two weeks late in writing this blog post, because I did aim to have at least one blog post published every week. Well, there’s no point on dwelling in the past and nobody’s getting any younger, so I’ll just have to procrastinate less and just do more. So this probably means that I’ll write posts and schedule them ahead of time.

And psst. I’m publishing this post by email!

Okay, so it’s nothing new and it’s been around for some time now but I thought I’d try out this feature.

So it’s been a very strange week for me, after acknowledging all the stress that has been mounting up in my life and coming back from vacation there was a huge fire at the building across the road from my office. And most of you that follow me on Twitter already know this, but now the building’s basement is flooded with water-damaged cars that belong to staff. The very thing that was used to extinguish the fire has become a problem itself.

So Jelly, what are you getting at exactly? I’m getting there, alright.

All I’m saying is that this fire started around lunchtime and reports say that it was probably due to a blowtorch being left on. The irony of the situation is that they used eco-friendly materials such as plywood and straw, along with bitumen (the same material that is used in tyres) which caused the fire to burn for a very long time and made it extremely hard to put out.

This was like me bottling things up and saying yes to everything, even when I didn’t think they were such good ideas. I became very apathetic towards a lot of things at work and didn’t see much point in doing anything anymore. And if you let something build up over time, things just get harder to deal with in the long run.

The day before that, my manager pulled me aside to have a chat about the letter I wrote her. Without divulging too much information, she shared some of unfortunate events that had taken place in her life and how they had affected her. She then said:

” You can’t change some things that happen around or to you, but it’s how we respond to it that matters.”

Because that’s all we can do. And as the smoke billowed from across the roof, my eyes were drawn to this meme printout on the window. “Keep Calm and Carry On.” That’s when everything made sense.

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Things don’t actually become easier as we grow older.

We become stronger.