A Dream Within A Dream
In the movie Inception, they play around with the idea of “a dream within a dream”. The idea is simple. You’re in a dream and for some reason, you see yourself wake up from the dream returning to your normal conscious life.
Except that you didn’t really wake up. You only woke up in your dream. You are still in the dream world. This is where everything gets confusing because how can you ever know 100% that you woke up from you dream?
You don’t. Well at least in the movie, it’s incredibly hard to distinguish dreams from real life.
Writing About My Writing
That’s exactly how I felt when I set out to write about my writing process.
– How do I come up with these ideas? (I don’t know, I just do.)
– There has to be a process to it. (It’s called the imagination.)
– Next time you write a blog, observe yourself. (That sounds like too much work. Not only do I have to sit down and think about what to write. Now I have to pay attention on how I do it.)
I don’t know how I convinced myself to do it, but I did.
I’ve always enjoyed writing. Before this blog, I had two other blogs. One in college and another one a couple of years back.
I usually get bored after awhile and stop blogging. But I always come back. Eventually.
For some reason, I have this creative bug inside of me that creates this itch. The only way to quell the itch is to do something creative.
Ever since the Fall of 2011, I poured my creative energy into Photography. I had just bought my first DSLR Camera. I finally found my current job as an architectural photographer in the spring of 2013.
I never saw this coming though, but the moment I started working as a photographer for a company, I lost my drive to work on photography outside of my job.
The moment my work day is done, I just want to get away from photography. After putting in close to 40-50 hours a week with a camera, the last thing you want to see is a camera.
I realized this after working a year with the company and secretly craved for another creative outlet.
I fell back to area in which I was most comfortable with.
My ideas usually come from life experience in which I am most uncomfortable with.
They are the parts of my life in which I want to leave behind.
Sometimes I wished they never happened.
By writing about it, I force myself to confront the parts of myself that I want to hide from the public.
For example, when my parents or grandparents bring up the topic of finding me a girlfriend. I start rolling my eyes. In my head I tell myself, “Here we go again”. I let out a sigh. It’s the same message I’ve been hearing for 8-10 years of my life.
And yes it’s gotten old. If I could I would just pick myself up and walk away from them, but that would be rude. So I sit there with my soul-less eyes accompanied with a fake smile. Pretending I’m interested.
This is how I came up with my blog “Top 10 Reasons of Why I’m Single“.
The challenge in writing about these uncomfortable experiences is I usually have to give myself time to move on after it happens. People say hindsight is 20/20. You can always look back at past experiences and pinpoint where and how things went wrong.
But that only works if you’ve already closed that chapter in your life. I can’t comment on my ex-girlfriend, if she is still somehow in my life. If we are still working something out. That would make it impossible for me to write about that part of my life.
Everything is still up in the air. I could still get back with her. It may end up with each of us hating each other. We may decide to stay friends. Regardless of what happens, I can’t comment on how it went until we’ve both moved on and had the opportunity to assess the whole situation.
That’s how I felt about my blog “The Art of Hustling“.
Even though it happened this past summer, I was still extremely emotional about the whole incident. It took me close to 3 months to let everything settle inside of me. It’s very hard for me to write when I’m in an emotional state. My brain becomes cloudy and it’s challenging for me to find a focal point.
Like a farmer that sow his seeds, water them, and returns a week later to find a tiny plant growing in its place, I too nourish my ideas in the same way.
I come up with an idea to write about, but that idea doesn’t magically transform into a blog.
I have to determine how I will write it. Do I want to bring in other literary elements to help tie everything together? Are there any other life experiences that are relevant to my topic? What kind of angle do I want to write from? Have I read a book or watched a movie that have parallels to what’s happening in my story?
I never get these answers all at once. Sometimes I don’t get any of these answers at all. (I believe that’s called a mental block.) Sometimes they pop up in the middle of my writing and I have to re-think my whole blog. Sometimes I’m driving in the car to work, listening to Justin Bieber, and one of these insights just hits me. (Then I can’t wait to the next red light, to note it in my iPhone.)
These insights just pop up like little plants after a certain period of time. It could take a couple of days. Other insights may pop up after a month. I know that I can’t rush my imagination. I can’t pressure it like I did in college when I needed to finish a research paper the night before. (I hated doing that to myself and more times than not I was extremely unhappy with my final product.)
Whenever I sit down to write, I usually have a good amount of insights to work with. If I get stuck, I take a break. I play games on my iPhone. I read a random book to take my mind off the topic. Mental blocks are a normal occurrence, but I welcome them. Mental blocks are just my imagination saying, “Give it some more time and you will be much happier with the end result. If you force the issue and finish it now, it won’t turn out the way you want it to.”
As a rule of thumb, I just go with the flow. I’m grateful for what my imagination can dream up. And if things don’t go the way I want it to, I learn to be patient and approach the writing when my stars have aligned once again.