100 Sonnets — Agoraphobia

Sonnet the first…

Gentle Zacharias

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Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash

So… you may have noticed I’m a little inconsistent about updating here. This is because I’m a little inconsistent about my creative work in general. My brain has this peculiarity that makes me reject hard deadlines on sight — as soon as I establish something as a thing I “have” to do, it becomes the last thing I want to do. So I’ve struggled with coming up with a writing routine that doesn’t just make me stop cold in my tracks.

The solution that’s gotten me this far is working on a lot of different projects at once. I often find myself hesitating, reluctant to work on something, when I don’t know what I want to do next or where the story is going, when there’s a question I can’t answer. Instead of banging my head against this wall, I’ve found it most effective to switch gears entirely, work on something else, and inevitably while I’m focused elsewhere I stumble upon something that breaks my previous deadlock. Everything, every experience I have, every person I meet, every bit of work I do feeds every other bit, and I never know how something is going to be useful so I try to pay attention to everything that happens around me. It’s tough, but since this is mindfulness in essence, the attempt is good for my brain even when it doesn’t result in much productivity.

One issue I’ve had with the usual “write every day” advice is that shame spiral associated with a constant opportunity to fail. I get the impression that this is an issue other people don’t have as much, so it may not make sense to people with brains that work properly, but when I try to make myself write every day, what actually happens is I agonize every second of every day about writing, but don’t write at all. If I manage to keep it up for more than one day at a stretch, the pressure of the “streak” silences me, the weight of sunk cost if I stop now makes it impossible to think about anything else. If I skip a single day, the deep Well inside me starts to whisper about the futility of it all, the pointlessness of even trying if every day is another test and another opportunity to fail. This is the kind of trap my brain loves to set up — the kind where every road leads right back to this place, this still, lonely Well, this waiting room.

I’m theorizing that part of my difficulty here is the ability for my creative…

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Gentle Zacharias

We rant about social issues, philosophy, mental health, and over-analysis of videogames. Join the cult (see the good stuff) at www.gentlecult.com