Thursday, May 30, 2013

Passion and Procrastination

"I think my general lack of writing is mostly due to my work sucking the energy out of me, not to mention quite a lot of the time I spend all day writing dull crap at work and I just feel like vegetating when I get back. On those days I only make progress when I'm in love with what I'm writing." - Tae,

While I don't have a job right now, this is something I deal with as well. That a day can very easily turn into a do-nothing affair where all you do is sit or lie back and pass the time with things that "don't matter." Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying every day, hour, minute and second must be filled with doing something meaningful. It's perfectly alright to sit back, drink an entire bottle of coke on your own, numbly watching 3 episodes of Downton Abbey in a row. I did just that, recently.

The problem comes when that's all you do. Without wishing to get into personal issues too deeply, I lapse into periods where all I do is exist vegetatively. I hide away from the world, lie my way out of my commitments and become a hermit. It's what is professionally known as a depression. I (And many others in the world) have dealt with it for over 10 years, and I've started to learn how to live with it. Especially how to turn days where I otherwise might have done nothing but watch TV, surf the internet and maybe play a game or two into days where I still do something.

For example, I have found that taking a walk starts the day off best for me. Half an hour to an hour, any longer and I start to get tired instead of motivated. Cutting myself off from the world for a little while gives me time to think. Robbed of the constant stimulations mentioned above (TV, surfing, games) my mind wanders and creates the stories and characters I write. Perhaps I should be able to do this when at home, but I may just not be strong enough to do that.

In other words, the best way to inspire passion is to deprive yourself. And if you don't, it becomes routine, and a day that could have been productive turns into a day of procrastination. This works for me, anyway, and it's why I act like I'm 87 years old and love walks. Maybe I should get a cane. And a shawl. And a rocking chair.

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