Confessions of a Slothful Mind
“For me, working is the equivalent of taking a break!” I was surprised to find concurrence to this belief of mine in a friend, during a deep insightful conversation over the ruminations of creative minds. The difference being, my creative mind is burdened by an immense languour, while he is far more active generally.
Freshly out of college, while the norm is to hunt for a means of livelihood if one does not belong to the blessed and fortunate category of those who have found their calling; here I was quitting my first job merely five months after having joined. Belonging to the former category I have mentioned above, unsure of my ‘career calling’, a plum paycheque was what I had prioritised. Everything else could be tolerated. Yet in five months, I realised the basic human need of job satisfaction. Having concluded with the only certainty that ‘routine’ is not my cup of tea; I decided to pack my bags. But for what next, I am yet to discover.
Routine, schedules, deadlines, punctuality: cross. Freedom, one’s own time, diversity, change: check. This is the inference I gained out of meetings with like minds regarding creative behaviour. And I am happy in the reassurance that I am not the lone such specimen. How then is one supposed to channel all that creativity and bring it to fruition and optimal capability? For me personally, I require time…plenty of it, and without multi-tasking. Yet, a boon turning out to be a bane proves completely true in my case.
Being ungrateful for something which I finally get after desiring for long surely makes me a monster. Particularly when it is ‘time’ – a luxury granted rarely to a chosen few. It is said that you often don’t get that which you chase. In my case I am often left wondering what to do now that I have finally got what I wanted. For, when time is all I have, instead of swimming and splashing in its waters atop a boat of creative pursuits; I soon find myself drowning in the mire of how best to make use of it. So that then gives way to mystic epiphanies of renunciation and the futility of achievements. And this leads on to existential plunges that the idle mind takes to reach an abyss of frustration.
I don’t know whether to laugh it off or capitulate upon it, but nevertheless I find it a mischievous prank of fate; for, the creative muses seem to delight in favouring me only when I try to keep them at bay. This can probably be put as getting something when you don’t want it! One consistent pattern I have noticed since childhood is that all my creative energies peak exactly when I am supposed to devote my time to ‘constructive’ causes such as studies and exams. At such times the ink in my pen flows unstoppably and a sheet of paper turns into reams…the same sheet that remains blank when I try to put concerted efforts into filling it when I take out time for writing per se.
You need to write daily in order to write well, or even become a great writer. For an externally motivated person like me, I often face droughts of inspiration. Yet, inspiration chooses to strike at the most inopportune moments, like the eve of an exam, or just when I am stepping out without pen or paper. At other times, procrastination is my constant companion.
Friends and well-wishers have always encouraged me to sit with pen and paper, or the laptop in present times, and conjure up the creative potions. However, the roots of inertia grow just too deep and strong in me, that others mistake it for obstinacy.
I am not wont to either dedicating or carving out time on a daily basis to fulfill my creative endeavours. I also look disdainfully upon those prolific writers who tear, crush and litter the surroundings of their writing table with imperfect attempts of their eventually perfect creations. The last one to agree to any inherent stubbornness, I however do concede to a particular idiosyncrasy of mine, which is to wait for things to happen; rather than making things happen, as is attributed to achievers and successful people according to manuals and current self-help best-sellers. I’d rather write a perfect (or less-than-perfect) piece at a go when the mood strikes, than scratch and tear reams in the name of practice-makes-perfect. Till then I don’t mind waiting for Calliope, Erato, Thalia and their company….for I have all the time in the world!