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My Jobless Life

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And life keeps moving on

So at the beginning of 2016 the resolution I made was to never be broke ever again in my whole life, ever. So I started a home-baking business which has been going very well. I also took up jogging because life is far more fun when you’re fit.

I have been supported in my business by my community in a way I really didn’t expect and I truly appreciate it, and for me this carries through one of my prior posts about the future of business. I really think business is going smaller and everything that is happening in my life right now is showing that it’s true. But then again, we make our thoughts our experience, so it is because of my belief that my life reflects my opinions as reality.

My objective of never being broke again might seem shallow and insignificant to the rest of the world, but I was heartily sick of wondering where the next buck would come from, so I decided to make a buck instead on wondering about it. It might be a self-serving goal, but it’s ensuring that many people enjoy some damn good baking at a very reasonable price.

Next time we meet I’ll tell you more about the jogging and how that’s going for me.

To all my blog friends out there, I hope 2016  is treating you as kindly is it’s treating me.

Love, Netta

 

 

 

 

We aren’t we

There is a pain that goes with defying your limitations; and I don’t mean just a mental or emotional un-comfortability. There is actual physical pain in breaking away from who you have been trained to be and becoming who you are. I remember many nights just writhing in bed in bodily pain because my mind and my spirit rebelled against a life that was too small, too depressing and too stupid for me to continue with.
My eyes hurt when I saw people going to work every morning. The fear and anxiousness about going to a place they hate, being late, and leaving their children while still not having enough money to live comfortably is such an ugly site. I wanted to cry for myself as much for them. I despised everything that is establishment and order and authority imposed on me from outside. The life of an ordinary person was despicable and I wanted nothing to do with it.
Every night a voice came to speak to me, it said: “What the hell are you thinking? What are you going to do with your life if you are not employed? Where have you ever seen anyone getting anywhere in life without a good job and a solid income?” It made so much sense, it sounded so true, it seemed so right; but all that wasn’t for me any longer. So I had to kill that voice and the act of killing it is like going to hell. That is how I experienced it. It’s like being burnt from the inside out. Night after night I squirmed and scorched in the darkness. All I had to do for some relief was to say to the voice, “I give up, you’re right.” But I couldn’t. I didn’t know what waited for me beyond ordinary life, I didn’t know where I was going, I only knew I couldn’t stay where I was.
I was a loafer, a slacker, a weight on the shoulders of society, I was worthless in comparison to all the hard-working folk who gave up their lives to make a living. I abandoned my fellow human beings to the security of mediocrity.
During the day the voice screamed desperately for me to start acting sensible. It painted pictures of lack and deprivation that unsettled me but never scared me enough to make me change my mind. What I became fearful of was wearing cheap shoes and poorly made clothing bought on credit. I became fearful of fast food bought on pay-day to compensate for the week of meager meals that went before. I was scared of fancy cars with huge re-payments and tiny re-sell values. Huge televisions and satellite subscriptions, cell-phone contracts, church tithes, weekends out, hair-do’s, nail jobs; it all scared me. Problems, gossip, friendships, politics, religion, education – I couldn’t bring myself to care about any longer. Not caring was painful, it felt wrong, it felt dangerous. I had to pay to free my mind from all the limitations I accepted. I paid dearly.
I’m still on a journey to find out what life really can be like when you are free to make up your own rules. Every now and then I come across yet another limitation to break free of and have to stand in the fire again. It doesn’t hurt as much now as it did then, but hurt it does. I now see life very differently. I don’t feel bound by societal norms, I don’t feel bound by expectation, I don’t feel bound by rules made for the sake of making rules, I don’t even feel bound or fearful of the law or law enforcement institutions. I feel however the weight of carrying myself and that is a much greater responsibility than complying with the rules of ordinary life. The world is filled with restrictions and boundaries but from where I stand now it seems to me that these things are completely powerless. They are more mental and emotional than actual. They are imposed through a threat of loss of approval and fear of violence or persecution. And we accept them without question, empower them without resistance and then tell each other that life would be better without those who oppress us.
The truth is that we love our chains, it’s the perfect out from having to challenge ourselves. It’s easier to profess high ideals than to live them and a restrictive society gives us every opportunity to shirk the opportunity to be who we say we are. The truth is that maybe 1 in 100,000 people will break away from the rules that we all say make our lives pointless, miserable and difficult. The truth is that we don’t even realise that breaking the chains is a real option.
Ordinary life is still ugly to me. Ordinary conversations hurt my ears, I don’t participate in them. Ordinary people depress me, I do my best to avoid them. Ordinary things leave me unmoved, I stare at them and see nothing. Ordinary problems are stupid to me, it is insignificant things people stress about through lack of knowledge and power.
I don’t do anything extraordinary with my life, except live it; which to the average person is something extraordinary. The point of my pointless life is for this pinprick of awareness, a nothing in the greater scheme of things, to face an unlimited world fearlessly and curiously with an intense desire to know and understand as much of it as my being can handle. I eat food, drink water and breathe air, but I do it with no illusion of there being a point to all of it, the doing is the reason for the doing. It’s audacious, arrogant and highly presumptuous that this tiny grain of nothingness, called myself, dares to want to make a life that flips the bird at all good definitions of a good life.
There is no great reward for following all the rules. There is no golden star for getting the most approval. There is no sense in living in misery with a hope of rest and salvation in a nebulous state that follows your death. There is a chance to live a life that makes you happy now. There is a world of beauty, splendour and abundance, peace and joy hidden in plain sight. We walk right past it every day because we’re too busy following the rules. We can never be free because we want to win; win at a game that’s set up to ensure we always lose. We can never be the one calling the shots because we don’t want to carry the responsibility that goes with it, so we have to be the one who bends the knee. We can’t be unique because we have to be on trend. We can’t be independent because the price of approval is conformity.
We can’t be, because we aren’t we.

Humans of the future

It’s a given that humanity will always grow and discover more over time. The general leaning is apparently that we will grow and discover more technologically, scientifically and even physiologically, but it doesn’t seem to me as if we apply that same thinking to our growth as people. The same humanitarian efforts, fund raising and establishment of organisations that are supposed to uplift humanity fall flat and seem to be less effective as we progress on our journey.
Are we still actively exploring what makes a human being tick or are happy with the definitions and understandings that we have come to thus far? It seems to me that what Freud and Jung and others of their time have been replaced by drugs that are meant to medicate us into being a certain way. We don’t pursue the understanding and knowledge of what we are with the same zeal as we do with things external to ourselves. Our understanding of our human nature and its challenges now lag centuries behind where we are technologically and even medically. We don’t understand these entities whom we are making smarter machines, better medicines, newer information for; no wonder these entities don’t become any happier or any more advanced by things that are meant to make them so.
To me there always seems to be one fatal error futuristic people make, ignoring the force of our inclination to be human. Humanity is an intangible thing, like instinct and emotions. We know it is there but you can’t bottle it and sell it at the shops, and because of that fact our materialistic society has been trained to ignore or downplay it existence and significance.

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I remember as a young girl watching programs like Star Trek and Buck Rogers that were all about how life would be in the future. I don’t remember the people on Star Trek ever sitting down to a meal, sleeping under nice soft blankets, playing with children or animals, chatting with each other or doing anything that was just too human to be exciting. I remember warp speed, being beamed from here to there, the crew meeting strange creatures and I especially remember Mr. Spock’s ears. I remember Buck Rogers doing some amazing things, but he never went home to just relax and see his family or friends like my father did. I remember movies or episodes of these space/future programes showing how we would pop a pill and all our nutritional needs would be met for a long period of time. I remember the holo-deck where you could go to any place or time you like, but everyone always went into the holo-deck alone. No shared experiences.
Today we have technology that makes Star Trek and Buck Rogers look ridiculously crude. The machines that we use in our daily lives are mind-blowing and I think only the really dull of mind fail to marvel at it. For us the marvelous has become common-place, and behind it all the human condition persists. Technological advances has not affected us as much as we thought it would. We still eat and we love food as much as we ever did. No pill is going to replace the awesome feel, smell and taste of food and I never foresee a time when it will. We still laugh, act silly and do stupid things, no matter how much we discover that is supposed to make us smarter or how easily accessible that information is. We will never become cold and technical creatures who only look at the facts and act rationally and sensibly. We enjoy our stupidity too much. We even employ people to create laughable situations when none occur naturally. Some of these people are called comedians, others are called politicians. We like silliness. No matter how wonderful a holo-deck there is, nothing will beat the experience of actually being there. We all see from a different perspective, our eyes are drawn to different things, we each remember our experiences our own way and having someone we care about sharing those experiences make them all the more vivid.
We understand so little about ourselves and I wonder why we are so disinterested or maybe distracted from doing research and development of the human entity to the extent that we focus on other areas. Is it because humanity cannot be quantified and broken down to a specific formula like mathematics, science and electronics? Maybe there is a formula or a system to humanity that we can find and use for our betterment but we haven’t been looking for it. Maybe there isn’t a formula and it is just chaos and random action, but who better to understand the chaos and randomness of being human than another human being?
Are we always going to react the way we do to the same situations? Will we always disappoint ourselves and fall short of our intentions? Will we always assume the worst about ourselves and be surprised when one of us perform a noble and caring act? Will we always need laws and rules and restrictions to protect ourselves from each other? Will we keep clinging to the definitions of humanity and how to manage it when those definitions have proven ineffective over and over again?
In one of my favourite movies, The Matrix, the machines that have taken over the world have managed to figure out what it is that would keep humanity happy enough for them to get the required amount of electricity from each in their vast human farms. Too idyllic a life and the human mind revolts, too hard a life with too little reward and the human turns on a kind of kill-switch in their body. A balance between sorrow and joy, and you get optimum performance. The film may also just be another flight of fantasy, but it holds up the hope of getting the optimum human formula right someday. The machines in the movie did it through trial and error before getting the perfect balance. We have millions of years of trials and errors, it’s about time we get down to synthesizing the right formula from all our experiments.
The technology and true science we need to expand on is that of being human. The concept excites me and it’s one of the things that keeps me hopeful about humanity, that somewhere in-between our silliness, eating, fighting, sleeping, chatting, working, loving we will stumble upon a clue and that clue will take us forward in leaps and bounds.
Who better to put a formula to the chaotic mess we are than our very human selves?

Black Souls in White Skins?

steve bikoThis is a title borrowed from Steve Biko, the father of black consciousness. In his piece he questions the assumptions white liberals made when dealing with black students in the organisations he was involved in those dry, hopeless, repressed and downright crazy years of apartheid in the 70’s. And in it he raises the question that always begs an answer in my mind as well. Is there something so inherently wrong with being black that we need white people to rectify us, civilise us, and educate us to be like them?

Many white people will tell you that they suffer discrimination too, and I can honestly say that when a black person hears that we think: Bullshit!

Such a statement goes out from the premise that a white person has any idea of the non-stop barrage of negative assumptions black people live under. It also says, in a very subtle way, that every time a person is judged as inferior or ostracised they are degraded to the level of a black person. Blackness being naturally inferior and deserving of ostracism.

I am always very wary of non-blacks trying to fight causes on behalf of black people. I treat them in a very circumspect way and never quite respond to their rah-rah bullshit about how badly black people are being treated. At the end of the day they go back to their big houses in the suburbs, with 2-3 cars, pools and dogs that eat gourmet kibble of the same cost as a black family’s weekly grocery budget. So like a good black person I just smile and listen, comment little and hit the delete button in my mind right after they leave. My head need not be filled with the prattle of people looking for an audience to their undeserved and often unappreciated privilege.

Then there are those who are fighting their own demons under the guise of empathising with the horrendous condition of being black. Because when you feel like shit about yourself you now know exactly how it feels to be black. Every time a black person sings they hear the pain in her voice, the suffering she had to go through, the hardship is palpable; her loving, happy upbringing notwithstanding. Being black is painful and the suffering they hear is not theirs, but hers of course. By siding with the lower level forms of humanity, masses of them to be sure, they have a big army and worthy cause to hide their insecurities behind.  Their questions about their worthiness and their issues of self-rejection couldn’t find a better home than with a group of unworthy people who face rejection as part of their daily existence. The perfect fit.

There are those smart white people who are quick to describe black people as illiterate and uninformed and form arrogant little theories about how black people can be educated to know all the wonderful things up to know destined only for the fair skinned. Never do they stop and ask if there is anything black people know that might enlighten whites. They know it all and you are a savage until you allow them to teach it all to you. They say that being a white woman is equal to being a black person. Blacks are thought of as dumb and incapable of complex intellectual functioning, so are women. Blacks are being paid less for the same work than whites, such is the case between white men and women. Blacks are often first to be picked and limited to performing servant-like tasks such as cleaning, housekeeping, child-rearing etc.; just like the white women of this world. Black are considered prone to responding emotionally rather than logically to situations, and women too. So being white woman whose husband thinks she doesn’t have to work, expect her to take care of her own home and children and don’t pay her as much as he does her male counterpart is equal to treating her like a black person. The poor, poor darling. How will she cope with all this free time while the real black people of world are busy in her house and garden and she only has to do the hard work of giving orders? We blacks really feel for her.

The rebels of the white world want to wipe their lily-hued behinds on the unfair advantage they grew up with by using darky slang and listening to rap music. They want to show up their mommies and daddies by consorting with undesirable types. They want to stand out, they want to be the only one. The only one in their circle who actually knows how to get to the nearest township. The only one of their friends who’s had a fling with a black chick. The one who says “Siyabonga, sisi”; the one white guy who spoke your language even though the language in your town is Tswana, not Zulu. They want to be the only white dude in a black crew. That will really give daddy some serious palpitations and have mommy panicking to calm him down while trying to untangle the huge knot in her expensive lingerie.

We know most white people smile to our faces and use derogatory terms to refer to us at home and with their friends. We know the best pranks are pulled on darkies. We know all the stupid jokes have either a Sipho or a Gatiep in them. We know that when there is a dirty bit of hard labour to be done us blacks spring to mind first. We know that you think singing and dancing are about the only things we do well besides everything you are too white for. The only people who are stupid enough to think all that escapes us are the ones doing it because they’re scared of being found out.

I can’t say I am 100% non-racist, the differences between races are too blatant for me to ignore. I do avoid anyone who wants to improve or change me for their own reasons. As stated before, such desires are based on a belief of inherent sub-humanness. I have some white friends, believe it or not. One of the most amazing people I have ever met is white and some of the people I like best and enjoy being with most are white too. I consider them my friends, a title not lightly given. They don’t try to make me into anything other than what I am. They accept that I might be looking at the world differently than they do and my viewpoint is no better or worse than theirs just because of the colour of my skin. They realise that I might just know more about being black than they do and that I never have and never will consider it a condition to be cured of.

Black people don’t feel inferior to whites or any other race, but we do feel black; because we are. We know however that being black earns us the label of inferiority in the minds of white people. There is a delicately nuanced distinction between feeling inferior and being treated as inferior. We suffer from the latter not the former. We love our black selves, ask any black you know. We don’t want to be rescued from being black. We don’t want to be civilised out of being black. We don’t want to educate away from being black. Black works for us; in ways no white person could ever imagine.

So a black soul in a white skin? I haven’t met one yet.

Naysayers & Dream killers

I recently had an incident that should have made me feel bad, it should have made me angry, it should have made me doubt myself, but I decided not to give in to the usual drama. I decided not to give the dream killers of the world the satisfaction of allowing their slights and jealousy to threaten the good thing I have going for myself.

When I say I want my life to live and not to answer to someone else’s agenda, people assume a lot about me. Some of it true, yet mostly they couldn’t fathom the pressure that comes with taking as much responsibility for your life as you can. People think that when I say that I don’t want a job because I don’t want to work, it must mean that I, childishly, only want to do what I like. The latter part would be the part that’s true. Yet, living life beyond other people’s definition of what it should be and having to draw meaning and purpose from yourself instead of a societal role, is damn hard and anything but childish

The naysayers of this world are also known as family and friends, well-meaning, but the worst kind of people to have around you when you decide not to conform.  They presume to know you, so family have already painted a picture of who you are and they will cling to that image stubbornly. What kind of love and care measures the image of who you think a person is as greater than who the person themselves desires to be? It’s easy to gather the criticisms, doubts and opposition of those closest to you under the heading ‘Love and concern’, but I don’t swallow it that easily anymore. I have 3 children and I don’t understand why I should stand in the way of their desires for their lives. I don’t understand that brand of love and care at all.

 

Family and friends are there to comfort you when things go wrong. They help you through the tough times and they encourage you in their own way. But people on the whole have a smaller dream planned for you than you have for yourself. The more dependent a person becomes on the support, opinions and approval of others the smaller your dreams have to be. Has no one ever wondered why so many success stories start out with dire family situations which the person has to rise above? I’m not discounting the value of close friends and family wholesale, but in some ways their love and support is an insidious motivation for failure or at least an unremarkable life.

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Those who are step above you, or at least feel that they are, I’ve found to be the best dream killers the world can produce. I seem to run into them all the time. They make the mistake everyone seems to make about everyone else, they think I want what they now have. Well, hello, how did you figure that one out? Dream killers have an intense desire to keep you beneath their station in life. When some people recognise your abilities they mostly do one of two things; or if they’re really slick, both. One they try to use it to their own benefit. Or they try to sabotage your progress to minimize or eliminate you as a threat.

Some dream killers don’t want you to have what they know they can’t. They have their ways and means of making you think you don’t have what it takes, but the truth is they’re talking about themselves. They are the ones who blatantly say that going after your dream is attempting to be superior to who you’re meant to be. They tell to you stop thinking you’re more intelligent than anyone else, when all you were thinking is that you’re intelligent. They ask why you hang around reading books from the library when you can have a secure job that pays slave wages. “Young women like you should be working; especially when you have children,” they say. They tell you to stop doing things that are meant for people much better than you, like being a writer. They try to guilt you into being as small as they are, anything else is hogging the limelight according to them. They’re also the first ones to start sucking up to you when they think you have bit of power or influence that could benefit them. They’re the ones who give medical diagnoses because someone in their family is a doctor. The very ones who told the doctor to become a mechanic or a plumber; the dream killers.

I’m not an adversarial person, I generally don’t get caught up in moaning about how difficult life is and how I need to be cut some slack. Yet, every so often one cannot help but conclude that some people seem to have a vested interest in seeing you fail. Some people appear to derive some strange pleasure from your misfortunes, especially if they’re the reason for those misfortunes.

I’m not one to waste much of my time on those who don’t like me, but it doesn’t mean I’m unaware of them or that my silence means they are getting the better of me. You don’t have to agree with me; just stand aside and do your own thing. You can be sure that I will be.

 

Preserving the heritage of Promosa Secondary

There has been a lot of speculation about the future of Promosa Secondary and the teaching medium the school will be employing in future. Recent interaction on Facebook inflamed some tempers, mine included, that Afrikaans might be done away with as a language of instruction. The two Coloured schools in Promosa are the only ones outside the traditional white suburbs where Afrikaans is both the home language and the medium used for education. Coloured people in Promosa now feel as if their language and heritage is being side-lined in a school standing right on their doorsteps.

The influx of learners who don’t have Afrikaans has a home language saw the inclusion of English, making the school a double medium institution. Many of the new pupils and teachers use Setswana as a home language. This has created a situation where it has become an unofficial supplemental language of instruction. Poor academic results have also added to the concerns the community have about the future of the school.

The community has found very little sympathy from the Department of Education (DOE) regarding their concerns about the use of language. Conflict ensued when the candidate preferred by the community, Godly Burrel, had to stand back for the government selected principal. Promosa has since adjusted and accommodated the current head of the school, Pelesa Mafisa.

The Potch I grew up in had barriers between White and Non-white, but those divisions were far less rigid between Black and Coloured. The residents of Ikageng and Promosa had a shared communal history prior to apartheid policy being instituted. I recall a home-town where everyone who spoke Afrikaans could greet and say a few phrases in vernacular and vice versa. I’m from a town where family ties remained strong despite being stretched by a policy where members of the same clan could be classified under different races. Being considered both Black and Coloured the home I lived in Afrikaans was generously enhanced by Setswana and English. The Potch I know has always been a mixture of Coloured and Black culture and its languages.

At its core the school’s problem is not a race or language issue, but the drop in education standards that the whole of South Africa is experiencing. The school might advise parents to instil values in their children that aids teaching and that is a fair request. Yet, many parents are disappointed when their children, well-behaved, punctual and appropriately dressed receiving no instruction for months because there is no teacher or textbooks for a certain subject. Race and language would be far less a hot topic if the end result was an orderly school that produces the results Promosa Secondary has always been known for.

The concerns about the future of the school is about the decrease in academic results and the dilapidation that has occurred at Promosa Secondary. The school has lost a proud history of producing results that attracted many out-of-town learners and now struggles with basic discipline and teaching. When representatives of the DOE state that the school is the property of the government not the community and will be run accordingly, it increases the level of anxiety in the community.

The problems now seen at Promosa Secondary are the result of a gradual decline in teaching standards, community participation as well as good parenting. There is no innocent party in the situation.

Those in the community of Promosa who want to preserve their heritage and language have to become more active in community matters and not leave important decisions to be made without their knowledge and participation. The decline in the state of the only Coloured secondary school in Potchefstroom is evidence that this has not been happening. Those who value their Afrikaans, have to teach their children to speak the language properly; schooling will only supplement what is taught at home. Parents also need to show understanding for teachers and schools that are over-crowded but under-staffed and under-resourced.

The government has to realise that it exists because of the people and aren’t above communities. The school belongs to us more than it does the government because it affects what is most precious to us; our children.

There is talk of establishing an alumni club of the schools old pupils to weigh in on school matters; a positive step in the right direction. However it must also be accepted that years of neglect and under-performance will not be rectified in a year or two. At this point the best thing the communities of Promosa and Ikageng can do is become involved in the schooling of their children. If each parent does their bit to ensure their child is effectively educated all the problems the school faces will be greatly reduced.

An edited version of this article appeared in the Northwest Independent Newspaper of 22/10/2015

About That Side Hustle…

If were sharing a cup of tea right now, I’d start off by saying:

So, I have to make ends meet right, but the plan doesn’t always go according to plan. So what’s the alternative? A side hustle, right? NO!

First of all I know hustlers and I hate being associated with that word. Hustlers can’t be relied on, they’re only as loyal as the amount of cash they can get right now. I’m not even talking about street hustlers, many people who call themselves entrepreneurs are just running an extended, constantly refreshed hustle.  A hustle has a very short life span, so hustles need to be re-invented every day. It leaves you nothing to build on. That’s not for me.

I know that many successful people got to where they are by working a job to pay the bills and pushing their dreams forward in their spare time. I’ve done that too many times in the past to be fooled by that again. I’m just not capable of looking in two directions at the same time. For me the main thing has got to be the main thing.

I’ve been a reporter for a local newspaper, I’m freelancing/subcontracting with a professional content producer right now and I belong to a citizen journalism group. I’ve got my blogs and books and they are the main thing. My side hustles are off-shoots of the main thing and I prefer it that way even if I don’t make much money from it now.

I’ve committed the next 15 years to make this work and I will not be distracted. I’m a creative person very skilled in various crafts and I have a 16 year career as a bookkeeper behind me, so I got skills. But like I tell everyone else who keeps advising me to get a side hustle, just stand aside and watch me do this.  This right here, is The One. I don’t have a back-up plan, I don’t have an emergency parachute, I’m doing this full-force.

Getting a job on the side says to me that I don’t trust in the process, it says that I am not fully committed. It says that I’m building a quick escape into my dream. The only side hustle I’m interested in is the one that enhances the main thing. I know that if I give my writing 100% of my energy and focus, something’s going to come off it. I just know. Nobody else has to believe in me, it’s ok. I believe in myself enough for all of us.

So about that office job. No thanks, been there.

About that bookkeeping service. No, never again.

Selling jewellery part-time. I’d love to, in a different life time.

Running some organisation.  I’m to disorganised for that, sorry.

Writing a report. Writing a letter. Writing a blog post. Writing your life story. Writing anything, anywhere, anytime. I’m there.

And if we were sharing a cup of tea right now, there had better be some cake too.

I KNOW WHAT I WANT TO WRITE

I want to write about who I’d be if I wasn’t me. I want to write about what I’d see if I didn’t stand where I do. I want to write about the pain I was dumb enough to miss out on, the pleasure I was smart enough to allow myself to feel. I want to write the lives I’m not going to get a chance to live this time around. I want to write that girl, I want to explain that man, that day, that moment when they just knew.

I don’t want to write boring dialogue of the “he-said, she-said” variety. Who the hell remembers conversations verbatim, anyway? I don’t care what colour the leaves were, I don’t want to know what time of day it was. I want to know how they felt, what they thought, how it lifted them, twisted them, broke them apart, and put them back together again.

I don’t care what his mother’s name was; fuck the back-story tell me the story playing out right now. Don’t tell me how her dress swishes around. Why should I care? Get me in her head. Let me see her heart. I want to get to know her better with the turning of every page. Who the hell is this woman? Why is she bothering me with her story?

Don’t give me big words, give me true words. Don’t give me adjectives, give me life. If he’s an asshole, tell me about it. If he’s a prince, prove it. Don’t give me twists in a plot, make me feel how fucked-up the world really can be. Make me believe that a happy ending might exist for me too.

I’m your closest confidant who’d never, ever tell on you. Live in these pages you create. Breathe here, love here, dream here, believe, question and learn here. Tell the story from your heart. Tell the story for real.

I know what I want to write, Netta. Don’t stand in my way.

Planned Procrastination

Having recently written between 3 and 4 thousand words per day doing product descriptions I definitely think that hovering between writing and running away from it both helps and hurts creativity.

I wanted to write those words because at the end of it all I could say, as I already did, I’d been writing thousands of words for weeks. I wanted the badge. I wanted to have a go at it. I wanted to rush to my laptop and start banging away like a professional. But I didn’t. It didn’t turn out that way.

I also felt overwhelmed when thinking how writing 200 words would leave a minimum of 2800 to go. I didn’t know whether my writing was good enough. Would they smile and say thank you, then edit with a heavy-duty chainsaw? Would I repeat myself and make my writing stale to the reader? Would my descriptions sell anything? I avoided my laptop because I didn’t want to be confronted by all the words I wasn’t writing. I was never going to get anything done, I just knew it. I would miss the deadline and mess up everything for everyone attached to the project. But I didn’t. It didn’t turn out that way.

In the end I made the deadline and got great feedback. I made it by loafing and working hard alternately. I walk a fine line between doing and thinking about doing. The doing would be pointless without time away. The thinking would be pointless without the act.

I have decided that I have a limit of 2000 words in me per day.  Two days spent writing 3000 deserves a day of writing nothing. Days of writing nothing at all should never follow each other. Planned procrastination works.

To create is great. To prepare to create, equally so.

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