This year, I made it a goal to write at least one reflective essay a week. Writing reflectively helps me understand my inner motivations much more richly than essays I write for other people.
These reflective essays can seem self-indulgent, and they are supposed to be. They are written with myself in mind, not the reader. The benefit of this type of writing is that they are usually more raw and human, qualities missing from highly polished writing.
However, this doesn’t mean that I won’t do other types of writing; but that I will add reflective writing to my list of articles.
Reflective writing will cover things like what I felt of recent progressions in both my personal and professional life, as well as thoughts on ideologies, mental frameworks and things that I take for granted (like comfort, A/C, meals). There is no concrete format for these articles – they can be heavy, or light; mundane or extraordinary. I will also not spend too much effort on editing.
Meditation in a week of chaos
Writing was especially useful in the past week. For some reason, all the stars aligned to make my last month of February 2016 a complete disaster. I couldn’t sleep for four nights.
I was caught between my stubborn ambition for perfection and my interest in the well being of the people I work with. Many things were moving inefficiently and I hammered everyone in the chain to make sure I got things up to speed again.
I sometimes wonder if this is a bad thing – that I push people so hard. I am easily disappointed with people who don’t keep their words. To me, it is important to do as you say, even if you don’t have it written down.
I was a mess for four days.
‘Why are we human?’ I asked my mom.
‘I hate being alive.’
While juggling my professional responsibilities, I faced feelings of personal failure.
On day four, I decided that I should stop dwelling in misery and
You are your best cheerleader. I thought to myself. If I don’t bring myself out of this misery, I will drown in it.
Unsurprisingly, I came to this conclusion after writing four essays. So writing is now like meditation to me. It calms me and it surprises me. I find out more about myself through writing than I do through thinking alone.
A Finite Existence
The other reason I want to spend more time in writing this year is because I am mortal. One day, I will no longer exist. I am consciously aware of it, but sometimes, in the midsts of working on things, I forget about it. The worst result of this is that I delay some of the important personal projects that I have always wanted to do.
The one thing I want to do is write fiction. Fiction is a clever way to talk about things in a way non-fiction cannot afford to. People can read fiction and say, ‘I relate to this, even if it is not something that actually happened,’ or, ‘I am inspired to do bigger things with my life now because of this.’
I used to write a lot of fiction in high school. There was one I wrote about two people who possessed opposite ideals on perfection. One was a man who felt the need to protect the cleanliness of paper and another was someone who felt that every piece of paper needed some art on it. The collision of their ideals felt perfect to me at the time, and though over something as mundane as paper and writing, I felt that I had better understood the dualities of existence after writing that piece as a 17 year old.
So this year, I want to spend time to write fiction – not because it helps me professionally, but because I have always wanted to.
I have started some work but stopped. I need to continue them.
There are some things you do to survive, and some other things you do because you need to do them.