On “Writing” Without Pen and Papers

I’m reading a book by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah and Ifemelu (the heroine) inspired me to start blogging again. So, I’m reviving this blog, which has been “dead” for a while now, and hope that I will be consistent with my writing for this blog (no, this is not a promise).

If you’re a writer, or have experienced any kind of writing (which I believe most of you have), you must have experienced some kind of a writer’s block (I know this sounds cliché). At least, this is what most writers called the experience of staring “into” their computers, or notebooks, brainstorming, or pretending to be thinking, praying for words to pour out of your brains into those empty pages, while at the same time, thinking of what to eat for lunch. It sucks, I know. Not to mention scrolling down social medias, hoping to stumble upon something inspirational, or doing “researches” that eventually lead you to 9gag and more YouTube videos. And then, when you’re finally started writing, really writing, someone/something distracts your focus. There goes one whole day.

Then, here comes the sunset! When the sun started sinking, and the moon appears against the darkening sky, you started to question your existence, observing things around you, visiting your past, and imagining what tomorrow looks like. Stop right there! Don’t you realize that you are actually writing in that moment without your computer, or pen and papers?

A few years ago, an established writer told me that she writes all the time. She carries a small notebook and a pen wherever she goes, and jot down anything she finds interesting and thinks might be useful later. (This is also one of Anne Lamott’s writing advices in Bird by Bird, if I remember correctly). But the question is, are you suppose to consciously seek for those things, the materials for your writings 24/7? Sure, but not necessarily, because I believe that writing is a mysterious creative process (everyone knows that), but most importantly, creativity is beyond writing, or painting, or filming etc. Creativity is like magic. And guess what, humans are creative beings!

If you don’t believe or “like” the idea of “magic,” at least, you would agree that we create constantly with our senses. For instance, a sunset looks like a sunset because your brain creates that image of sunset. We don’t consciously perceive and control our organs, cells, or the electrochemistry in our brains, to create that image and experience sunset. You just have to open your eyes and boom! (It’s like magic, really). And in “understanding” that image of sunset, language is used, and eventually, you find yourself telling stories to your self (or to someone else)–of how the colors in the sky reminds you of apricot you once had with your lover, or how you and your sister got drunk together for the first time…one story leads to another, and it all started with the sunset.

That’s writing to me, without pen and papers. It happens when I’m at peace and calm. The first rough draft of a story–fiction or nonfiction–is always written without pen and papers, in the style of mysterious fragments of memory, and they’re always full of dreamlike, wonders.

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Me, my cousin, and a dog named Google, moon-bathing, and “writing.”
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