She’d booked the time off months ago – attempting to take advantage of the bank holidays – and, rather naively, she’d not expected anything to go wrong and therefore didn’t take the possibility of change into account, despite her pessimistic nature. It was the Friday of her week off and she had done nothing of what she had planned. A door opened elsewhere in the flat and footsteps grew louder.
Even as she sat there, her frustration levels rising, her boyfriend was being kind enough to make her a coffee and she was seething at the interruption. He’d made himself scarce all day and she was only just beginning to write at 15:44 pm. He wiggled his rear in time with the coffee machine’s murmurs, bringing a slight smile to her mouth, but it wasn’t quite enough to lift her mood. The smell of a homemade latte wafted over her.
Fifteen minutes later she’d written a section of self-justifying excuses and pity-party comments about how it all just went wrong and she couldn’t help it. Aware that no one wants to read that shit, she deleted it and wrote other things instead. She agonised over her words, writing and deleting, writing and deleting. She felt like screaming and crying over her frustrations, laughing and shaking her head over how ridiculous she was being, and deleting the entire draft and starting again. Spotify played Water Ripples by Enno Aare in the background.
She decided against deleting her writing. Something was better than nothing – it was the first real writing she’d done all week and that shouldn’t be erased from existence. It didn’t matter if it was yet another post of whining. All she saw in her Twitter feed was endless beautiful flat-lays and posts about how she could get amazing skin too and look at my beautiful holiday photographs. No. Not everyone has perfect days, and that new mascara won’t make your life instantly miles better. Her coffee, made by someone who cared for her, was getting cold. Sip, sip.
So what if she’d intended to write at least two articles a day this week and schedule them to publish over the next few months. It’s okay to post on an as-written basis – it was her blog after all and she could do what the hell she liked. If her blog was a place for her to let out her creativity in short-story form, it could be a place to air her grievances too. Writing of any form is practice and experience. A comment from her coffee-savior made her smile.
She knew what she wanted out of life and she knew the steps she should take to her get there, but it really didn’t make the journey any easier. It wasn’t motivation or productivity that was the problem, it was discipline and diligence; she was envious of others and lazy to her own detriment. She knew who she wanted to be but didn’t know who she was. A flash of annoyance from unwanted noise across the room.
She felt drained and fed up. Time to save the draft and publish her whining. It may not be well received, but it was mildly cathartic. She didn’t care if no one read this post, as it was for her. It’s not all filters and pretty pictures. Life is weird and makes you do strange things. It’s okay to not feel okay. She doesn’t feel okay but she will be one day. The coffee cup is empty.
I was inspired to write this post after reading What to do if no one reads what you write by Shaunta Grimes. It might not have been what she intended to trigger through her post, but I thank her anyway.