All of last year I was berating myself for always loving people with a tinge of obsession. I came to the conclusion that it is not right to love like that. You erase the person and make the story of the person bigger than they actually are. Of course, nobody lives up to the story you make about them in your head. (But my mind retorts: Well, I do live up to the stories that people make about me! Bcz baby, baby, baby, I’m your man!)

Anyway, the compromise I came up with, because I remain an obsessive person, is that I could channel this madness in fan-ship. I truly get high while cheerleading or staning. It is a socially-approved madness, that only annoys people who know you. So you will hear me gushing about how I am in loOove with a certain celebrity from time to time. I keep adding more to the list, giving each of them a separate but equal pedestal. I have undying love for all of them, and I will frequently wax poetic about their genius and charm.

I have been thinking about whether it is sexist to objectify someone for the purposes of art. Like, if I was a man, it would be seen as problematic to project so much idealism onto the idea of the woman. I have been reading Urdu poetry and sometimes, I am taken aback and wonder how messed up the whole genre is, with so many men professing unrequited love and the lover’s voice is absent. But I also enjoy it thoroughly because I am the same monster, only assigned female.

This led me to another realisation: I write only about my muse(s).

Simping is requisite for creativity! It is so un-feminist of me but I need to obsess to write. For the longest time during this prolonged writer’s block, I had chained myself from ever writing about him if I had to heal; and also my ex had distaste for my obsessive ways. So in trying to be rational, I let go of the fuel that drives me: fantasizing about my muse.

I think all this while, I have been waiting for someone who enjoys being written about, who would delight in it, even if it took mean turns, or if I remoulded him into something shinier. (Would he dare to live up to it? I guess it is bound to be a downhill journey.)

Anyway, what I have realised is that I want to be irrational and obsessive. The price of being rational is too much, and I refuse to be that dull. Even if it is only for short-lived affairs, so be it. I will make it eternal in secret. I guess, I am condoning the monster for the sake of art!

Calling truce with crazy,
tame shewolf.

PS: This month, I have been obsessing over Ali Sethi and calling it “Urdu language immersion.”

Could I allow myself to write fiction?

Over the years, I have made so many promises on the blog. I have waxed optimistically about how I am a changed person, how I will be a prolific writer, a writer who will write and not think about how difficult it is to write. I have cried bitterly in words about how I am suffering a creative block and how it is just a phase. I have repented on my knees for the monster-police in my brain that stops me from writing.

If someone did this to me outside of me, I’d shoo them away. The truth is I am my own bad boyfriend. I don’t lie to myself; all I am is evasive. I will write the poetic apology but not the sincere love letter. Isn’t it just easier to beat yourself up than keep promises?

Recently I read that it is self-care to keep promises to yourself. This has been a mean realization because the only person I can postpone is me. My life takes meaning only if I live for others. For myself, I wouldn’t (couldn’t) even get up from the bed. I would be okay if it all ended for me. I care two hoots. It is a mix of contentment for what has been and a resignation bcz I am tired despite everything.

The only thing I want, if I must continue to exist infinitely, is to not be a doomed worker. So, all I do is rebel against bad workplaces or create my good working conditions in the little agency that I do have.

What else can I want for myself? Maybe some silliness and play. Things I always indulged in to amuse myself. So even if it lacks skill, I treasure it because I made it! Like we did as kids! So experimentative with genre and subject, and blinded with happy pride!

Guess what I really want to say is that I am going to attempt writing with the many online writers raring to take on that November project.

I am still afraid of writing a story. Lest, I psychoanalyse myself. Lest, all the feelings I want to dust off come out. Lest, I unravel. Confessing the truth is easier than fictionalising it. How. Why. What. I am not sure what is at play here. I wonder how my brain can muster more shame for writing fictional semi-autobiographical work compared to writing confessional angsty trash.

Anyway, maybe I will be brave enough to attempt it, or sober enough to write here regularly for a month, so that I have something playful I did despite how angsty it seems for a 28 year old to be writing like this—

November found me sad. What can I say?
tame shewolf.

When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin 
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?

~”The Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock”, T S Eliot

I am a diarist

I have decided I am not a writer.

I am not a writer. There is so much pressure to just show up on the page every day and god damn write. I cannot. I am a rebel, and if I have to, I just won’t. Even if the “have to” has been decided by me! I have to trick myself to write more. I was in the pursuit of “flow”. That once when I am done with my world-building, the chapters will write itself. Or at some point, I will be able to write more than 500 words a day. Or some day, I will be so engrossed in my creation that I will forget the world.

Well, that’s not happening to me. I have realised I don’t have the stamina or the self-belief to drown myself in me.

I am not a journalist. I read such good opinion pieces or well-researched articles all the time. People tell me I could do it, or rather, I should do it. But I god damn won’t do unpaid research and write that beautiful essay if it is not an assignment. That kind of work has to be a “have-to”.

I am not a blogger. As in, I don’t blog with the SEO terms in mind, and try to climb my way up to be a respected blogger with followers who read them regularly. I am not topical. I don’t have mass appeal. I am not that committed to this blog in the sense where I want to create my own brand personality. I really don’t see why someone stops by this blog either. If you are reading this, it is because I asked you to, you are curious about me, or already adore me. The only place I publicize it now is on Twitter. So there is nothing I want to make out of this website. It is just a happy feeling to have a website you call your own on the internet.

It must be clear now that I am very unambitious.

I am not a memoirist. I mean that is an art in itself. I don’t really tell you about the people in my life. I don’t narrate it in a way that has an essence driving the story forward. I am not locating myself in this time period of the 21st century and the shit we have been going through in 2020 either. This blog is so apolitical most of the times; it is unlike me!

I am a diarist. This stream of consciousness bullshit is my schizz. This is the creativity I can muster. I journal incessantly as a way of therapy. I definitely recommend it to everyone too. I also write so that I purge the things deep within me so that I can escape the police in my head. I allow myself stream of consciousness writing because this gives me a sense of flow. Not really, flow. But I don’t stop because I have nothing to think about. Because if I have nothing to think about, I will write exactly that. This may not be art. May not be relevant to even me after some time. It does make me cringe after I am past this phase, but I still cherish it. There is no technique to this (except for the basics of structuring).

I am leaving bread crumbs to make sense of who I was and what I have become, and what I want to be. I worry if I ever lose my mind (which is my biggest fear), I could trace myself back. The eternal quality of words…, I value it but I couldn’t for the life of me try to imitate or aspire for it. I don’t expect my writing would be eternal or even useful! I really selfishly do this for me. I am hoping that it mutates into something that is valuable. But even if it doesn’t, it is fine with me.

Writing diary entries have always been life-affirming. I hold on to that.

Signing off like a typical diarist,
tame shewolf.

PS: Stephen King writes 6 pages daily. That bastard.


Showing up on the page

Have I become someone who is now focussed on quantity over quality? Yes.

Because this creativity slump was affecting my mental health. I was thinking about how I should be writing, but sitting in front of the laptop and coming up blank. Just distracting myself with some shit or the other. There are too many blocks and naysayers in my head and around me too. I didn’t realise that. But since I have been working on this white woman workbook, it is really helping me. Of course, my “rationality” won’t let me disclose what book I am solving.. but my heart is really enjoying this DIY therapy. All this while, I have Gabor Mate leading me by the hand and helping me be kind to myself and my addiction. I have found some inner-spring and I want to protect it.

I have also discovered that I will always be teenage-ish chirpy or angsty.  Can I escape that voice? I am 27 now. I may be 35 and still like this. So, might as well embarrass myself if I must, if it is an inescapable part of my existence… Also, a lot of my writing is for me. So maybe, I will write a lot of stream of consciousness writing. Many embarrassing confessions to purge from my system. Maybe I will appear more thoughtful and poised than before. I am okay with that. This is not some pristine page of a book. That is clearly so much hard work, as I have discovered.

So since the lockdown, I have delved within without the guilt of “have to”. Deleting all the “should be doing this and that right now”. I am privileged enough to create my island and indulge my underemployed self into creativity and resolving my binge eating disorder with focus.  Week 1 of food sobriety, and I think I am on a high. Or maybe I am on to something and I am going to motivate myself to be in that process.

I have been writing. But just not here. I have three blogs in total now. This one is my projected self. A face for the faces I meet. I have another private blog to rant my heart out in fiction. A mirror to stare back at me. The third blog is public but I usually use it to think and do my writing projects there. More academic. More practice. The function is to be more helpful to others on that journey. So, that’s the persona, heart, brain categorized neatly. I am sure I can split myself further.. but now my task that I have set before me is to help me merge these. Become a bit whole.

Creativity is really indulgent. I am still doubting the capacity of the inner-spring. I am worried about the relapse in the future.  But there is also a thought in my head that wonderfully counters this. Just do. We’ll face what we must when it comes to it.  So yeah, if I am sounding high, maybe I am. I am okay with seeming delusional.

The best part is that blogs are finally out of fashion. Nobody is searching for blogs and the SEO tags, unless it has really contributed and curated knowledge. This is safely my island again. No dream and aspiration attached to this website.  Just exploration. Just showing up on the page to rest, to try, to daydream, to express, to be silly. 

tame shewolf.

PS: See you tomorrow for another 500 words.

Write, right now!

“One forges one’s style on the terrible anvil of daily deadlines.”
Émile Zola

I have often heard writers and amateur writers and non-writers advising other budding writers to ‘Write, right now!’

I find that annoying. Every time someone tells me if you wanted to write, you would have written by now, that all there is to writing is to write diligently everyday, I frown. If the demand means to stay in touch with writing, I meet that anyway.

I end up writing everyday. While conversing with friends (long discussions on chat, I mean), writing my diary, writing phone notes of ideas, writing rough drafts, writing letters and emails etc. Some days I don’t want to write. I am irritated to think that I am thinking the same thing over and over again. There’s no new thought. That’s when I feel trapped in my body and even my life. I reach out to people to escape that rut. Read their work, talk to them about their lives, read books, listen to music.. anything that’s outside of me.

That doesn’t mean I mean, daydream about being some kind of artist, and hope that someday you just might spontaneously create great work. One has to collect their many hours of practicing proficiency and enduring sincerity. That is important. You develop your style because of that. You create a rhythm which is a good thing. But you also create a writing pattern. Again, something that I think one must try to break free from.

Whenever I have attempted to write a blog post recently, I conclude that it is being didactic or is an angry rant. My friends tell me I always wrote just that. (I still have a hard time accepting it). I end up deleting the post because I am sick of it myself. I am bored again of my own comfortable writing. But then, I haven’t written for so long, it feels like I need a writing resolution or a writing slot in my schedule or more writing prompts. I hate the idea but I am tempted; I make plans, I break them. I am motivated and soon, dejected.

I have decided that “free association” is not “writing.” That’s what you do when you write for therapy sake. That’s how I write my diaries, or ward off the writer’s block. True writing is coming up with something more layered than that. Conscious writing is true writing, for me. That’s what should be the goal- Creation. So I have been unhappy with all that I have written yet. All I do is practice that style of poetry, or this style of plot. I don’t have an idea in my head that is driving the writing, which makes me feel empty.

I wonder if I am already setting myself up for defeat when I say I can’t write with the help of writing prompts. Prompts must inspire, not pressure. Again, prompts help starting off on ideas that originate external to you. So I am not against prompts; the idea tempts me to try it. However, I have read such great works in response to a specific prompt, I can’t take them casually. You compete when you write in response to a prompt.

At the end of the day, I know that one just has to write. I am the one who urges people to write down their ideas or feelings even, to articulate what they’re thinking, to experiment with styles, to read a lot (it is part of writing!)

What is problematic for me is the demand of “do it right now”.   I hate pseudo-urgency. Life is not an emergency situation. I do not understand how self-imposed deadlines work. If I don’t care, I don’t do it. If I care, I don’t need deadlines. But then there’s this one twist: If I don’t care but somebody else cares, I’ll do it.

Based on that principle, I asked some of my friends to give me writing topics to get me going.. I needed someone else to care because I had been in a very apathetic state for a long time. This doesn’t work in the long run, because you begin to feel smothered and then decide not to care.

This post is also a didactic rant. Half my mind wants to delete it. I ask myself- Is that all I have to give to the world? Granny talk?

Rants won’t stop soon.
Signing off,
Tame SheWolf
“If the novels are still being read in 50 years, no one is ever going to say: ‘What’s great about that sixth book is that he met his deadline!’ It will be about how the whole thing stands up.”
George R.R. Martin
PS: Again, this post seems all over the place to me. What am I really talking about?!!