2.11.21

(A lowly tribute for the wise and god-fearing man who taught me the meaning of life and beyond life —Bro. Eli Soriano)

May lungkot na di maipaliwanag,
Umusbong kasabay ng iyong paglaho,
Ngunit dala nami’y aral na iyong inihatid,
Iniwan sa aming magkakapatid.

Isang pag-asang natutunan mula sayo,
Na balang araw sa paraiso,
Lungkot, luha, at siphayo
Ay papawiin at maglalaho.

Magkita-kita nawa tayo,
sa mga taon ng paghahari ni Cristo.

Night

Every night before I go to bed,
I relive my non-existent dreams,
Piece by piece, shred by shred,
All of this, inside my head.

In every dream there’s you,
In it you brings the most colorful hues.
In there, there’s me and you,
In there, everything’s true.

I’d like to make these dreams immortal,
Arrange its thread and make a portal,
Through poems, stories, or whatever,
Everything to relive it forever.

Fear

As a kid, there’s these things that keep me awake:
The boggart in every closet,
The ghosts of dark places,
The monsters under my bed,
And the babadook inside my head.

As I grew older it intensifies,
To restless days and deadlines,
Tired mind and heavy migraines,
Sleepless nights and reccuring pains.

There are lots of things we dread,
That often hinder us from going to bed,
The fear of immeasurable anxiety,
That lurks around the corner, hissing softly.

But there’s this refuge that keeps me sane,
The promise that will never be in vain,
The assurance that I’ll not be forsaken,
That guarantees I’ll never be left alone.

Here emanates the light that keeps me safe,
Which gives comfort and peace,
And brings an anxious mind at ease.

Bitter

The bitter taste of love
is a coffee granual on my tongue,
Leaves an unforgettable stifling taste,
that goes right through the heart.

I never like coffee without cream,
Never wanting a life with lots of screams,
Screams of pain, heartache, and hate,
Can’t you just re-consider for our sake?

The Unreliable Guide About Writer’s Block and Procrastination

vintage typewriter on a wooden surface

According to the public’s reactions to memes about writing, and procrastinating, most of them (I meant, us) suffer from a syndrome called “An hour-long of blinking cursor.” This is an agonizing and stressful moment that sometimes seems endless. When this happened, we simply divert ourselves and do other things like browsing the internet leisurely, talking to our friends, watching a movie, brewing your fifth cup, and many other excuses. With this, one can simply declare that he’s having a writer’s block, instead of admitting that he’s just procrastinating.

Believe it or not, I’ve read quite a handful of tips on how to cure this syndrome, but most of them just honestly told me to “just start writing.” That’s frankly saying that you should stop looking at memes, chatting with your friends, and just focus on your task- writing. But to what extent should we admit that we’re having procrastination tendencies or experiencing a writer’s block?

Signs That You Are Stuck

crumpled papers

Some say that Writer’s Block doesn’t exist. Some say it does. To make this unreliable guide a reliable one, here’s what Neil Gaiman says about Writer’s Block:

“I don’t really believe in writer’s block, but I absolutely believe in getting stuck. The difference is one is imposed on you by the gods, and one is your own damn fault.”

-Neil Gaiman, Author

Even Gaiman had the same familiarity with being stuck, but at least he has a way to get through it. Later we’ll delve into his ways of dealing with that feeling but first, here are the warning signs to determine whether you are experiencing writer’s block, err.. being stuck:

  • You have tons of ideas that you cannot figure and arrange.
  • You are feeling uninspired
  • Lack of excitement with regard to writing.
  • You are working tirelessly. You feel exhausted and writing overwhelms you.

The lists above were some of my own major experiences at times when I just want to bump my head on my keyboard. However, the lists below were the actual ways of how Neil Gaiman resolve his own predicament:

  • Write your draft by hand on your notebook before you type it up on your as your second draft.
  • Write whether you feel inspired or not.
  • Have a back burner of things you would do if you experience being stuck on writing.
  • Don’t blame “writer’s block” if you’re uninspired. Finish the story you started.
  • Read outside your genre.

At this point, I agree with Gaiman’s way of taking some sort of rest by indulging yourself in other things you enjoy. You don’t need to restrain yourself from doing things other than writing, because “writer’s block” usually comes if you are feeling pressured to complete a task or meeting a deadline.

Maybe, relaxing is the refresher you need to come back ready for writing. However, there can be a hazard in this. Beware, you might fall into procrastination.

Signs That You Are Procrastinating

Men sitting, a scene in club lounge, art by Thomas Rowlandson
  • You keep on making excuses why you can’t write
  • You have the excitement of doing other things than writing. You even found yourself doing everything except for writing.
  • You keep on intentionally delaying your writing stuff, even though you know you should have started doing it.
  • You pretend to work, yet all you do is surf the web.

Based on what I have experienced, procrastinating is some sort of delaying your work just because you’re too lazy to do it. It’s when you know how to do it yet you still chooses not to do it.

Sometimes, procrastination is interchangeable with being stuck or some others called “writer’s block.” One major difference is that, if you’re stuck, you can’t come up with a creative idea. However, if you’re procrastinating, you know what you’re doing but you’re too lazy to do it. There has been a theory that procrastination is the result of writer’s block. To resolve this, we’ll just go back to the basic thing -write and get it done.

Letter in a bottle

Stuffed in a bottle -A written letter,
Cast on the ocean, trav’ling on adventure.
Moving from lands and through overseas,
Reaching it’s destination:

To turn soliloquy to conversation;
Contribute a verse like Whitman mentioned,
To take part on someone else’s chapter,
And reminisce on the last stage yonder.