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I forgot how to write

We were all good at that one thing.Design, food, traveling, finance, research; everyone had that one thing. That one thing was something we all knew how to do even in our sleep and it was the first thing we wanted to do when we wake up. It was that one thing your eyes mesmerised at, that one thing you wanted to do until your hair turns gray – no, it is not eating or sleeping.
For me, that one thing was writing. It was my passion turned career, my one true love, that little spark inside my soul… that was until a few days ago when I (out of nowhere) completely forgot how to write. Before you laugh at me and say “How can you forget something you’ve been doing since you were 8?” or “How can you forget that one thing you do?” Well… trust me, it happens or in this case, has already happened.
Imagine having amnesia and forgetting everything you knew about that one thing you’re good at. It wasn’t a lack of drive, or passion, or meaning, you just completely lost it. You didn’t know how to do what it was you used to do so well. I was like being a Chanel no.5 without the signature bottle or being a Macbook without the apple at the back. There was something wrong with me, I wasn’t me. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but I knew that I forgot how to write. There was an inability in me to create what I was created to create. I was like coffee but I was a 3-in-1; that simply meant that I was not coffee at all. You can easily say that what happened to me was “writer’s block” but it wasn’t, I’ve been through writer’s block before and it was never as bad as this one.
So what do you do when you don’t know how to do what you used to do? Well aside from taking a breather after that sentence, I did what I used to do. Sounds a bit self-defeating but that is exactly what I’m doing right now, I’m writing. I’m writing even if I’m not inspired, even if I have no idea what I’m doing, even if I’m not really sure if I’ll post this anyway (but if you’re reading this now, I probably have posted it) because this is what I do. I write and I write and I write. Austin Kleaton (God bless this man, he is a genius), there is never really a “right time” to do things, you just do it. He shares in one of his books that we artists have this annoying stigma that we need to know what we’re about before we create but it is only through creating do we know ourselves. Don’t wait for the time to be super inspired to create because if we all waited for that moment, we would all be in a waiting game where nothing really happens.
The author of Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert mentioned in one of her TED talks that she struggled to write her next book after the success of Eat, Pray, Love. The next book she would release had so much pressure riding on it because it would either satisfy her fans or her critics. There was no assurance that her next book would be eaten well by her audience, all she can do was pray for the best and she did what she loved. Yes, there are puns in that last sentence.
What I loved about her talk was how she shared that writing was her home, I couldn’t have stated it better. That one thing I was talking about earlier? That one thing is your home, for people like me who have quote-unquote lost it, find your way back home. And how do you get back home? Just like Austin Kleaton, Elizabeth Gilbert said the said thing, “I had to get my ass back to work.” There is no other way to do it than to do it.
As I write this, I still have no idea why I forgot how to write or how I will relearn what I forgot but hopefully, by the time you read this, I would have (slowly and I mean very, very slowly) fixed the problem. I’ll never really know what glitched my system, maybe I was going through something or maybe I was just burned out, I don’t know. But when the time comes that you do forget how to do what you do, there is no other cure than just to do it again. Sure, take some breaks, go out, live more, watch some TED Talks but never forget to go home and do that one thing you’re good at.
Since I had totally forgotten how to do that one thing, I am back on square one and I have to do things all over again. There’s nothing wrong with this, if anything, it is actually pretty great because I get to fall in love all over again with what I used to do.
Much Love,
P.S. Restart 2016 right 😉

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