It feels great to be facing this page once more. It’s been a long time. I admit that the reason why I’m back is because I have a deadline tomorrow. As much as I’d like to say that this is my warm up for the writing that I’d be doing later. It’s really more like an excuse to not face that task at this very moment.
It’s during times such as this, when I should be dealing with my work that I find the motivation to really focus on writing an entry. I could spend an entire weekend with my useless existence at the apartment and I never get the urge to write. Give me a task that I need to finish in the next 24 hours and lo and behold! Here I am with another entry.
Maybe it’s a mechanism to somehow feel productive even if I do fail to deliver that output by tomorrow. “At least I managed to add a blog entry.” Still, that practice is getting old and I’m finding less and less fulfillment in using it as an excuse. But here I am doing exactly that.
People can get too set in their ways that it takes a lot to shrug off a habit, develop new ones, or regain old habits that one lost to the convenience of laziness.
I used to write a lot. It’s mostly nonsense but I did jot them down nonetheless. Writing was freed the mind from thoughts – mostly worries, rants, and a few lessons I’ve learned. Sometime in the past, I managed to convince myself that I was too busy to write things down and that conveniently became a habit. I haven’t written much in along time. I mean, I do take down notes during meetings. I used to add commentaries in my notes before. Now, all I’ve written are tasks and deadlines that I couldn’t even recall.
Even before last year’s operation, I was already forgetful. That was why I made conscious effort to take note of things – everything. That regular writing was my way of dealing with my weak memory and it has helped me a lot. Now, I really do not remember why I stopped and became lax with the daily writing.
How I wish I could use the hospital stay and the operation last year as my excuse, but the writing habit has weakened even before that. After the operation, I had more memory lapses. I had difficulty recalling words and phrases that I could have easily used before. I had greater need to write so I could practice using the words and phrases that I once knew. It was like stuttering on paper. It was painful and frustrating having to constantly consult the computer thesaurus and Google and pestering people in the same room.
I never realized how arrogant I was before in being familiar with words and phrases until I felt degraded every time I consulted the computer thesaurus over the simplest words. I’m no word genius but I had more words stored in my mind than I could ever need. It took decades of wide reading and forced memorization in decades of school subjects to build that vocabulary. It’s so frustrating to know that you have this word collection that you cannot fully access.
It was more convenient to avoid feeling helpless and frustrated. That meant avoiding writing. Of course I had to deal with writing at work. I guess what made writing difficult was dealing with that constant fear that the weakened recall for words may progress. It would be like losing access to decades of learning. I work in the academe in the field of communication, mostly in journalism and losing decades’ worth of words would render me unfit for my job.
After completing the first full semester back at work, I am relieved to find that my word recall is improving. I still get a lot of blanks in my sentences whenever I work on my drafts but I have become more optimistic that it’s something I can slowly work on. I’m recalling more and more words with less difficulty and in a shorter period of time. I don’t feel as bad whenever I consult the thesaurus or Google – finally, some humility!
I need to write more regularly. I cannot emphasize how important that is for work and my state of mind. I have become too lazy that a week may pass without at least a page’s worth of writing. I spend more time worrying about this than actually doing something about it.
I am reminded that the most critical role of writing for me has always been articulating my thoughts, organizing them, identifying workable issues/concerns, and working on possible courses of action to help address these issues/concerns. I haven’t done that in a long while. I keep re-reading old journal entries and wonder how I managed to write everyday. I just did. I had to.
From the old journals, I gathered that writing required some level of rationality. Lose the writing and one loses reason.