Blank Spaces

It’s been three days of staring at an empty screen trying to fill it with words. I type a few sentences and then hit backspace and go back to the start and let the white fill my mind like a paint spill. It’s not that I have nothing to write, I’m not talking about the blog. I’m talking about work and my work is to write on publicly relevant topics like polluted lakes, community refrigerators, theatres and a lot more. Juggling three articles at once is like trying to catch three fish with one bait. It just doesn’t work.

I knew when the wait was over it would be bad, but my mental faculties have just shut down. I have five tabs open on my computer at one time and none of those tabs include YouTube or Netflix. I need to organise my thoughts, I do an interview for an article one day and the next I have to work on the draft of a completely different article, on the third topic I am still deciding what I want to write about. It’s a mess. I pride myself as a multi-tasker but these articles are testing my patience.

So today I decided I needed to take a step back. My schedule has gone for a toss, I have reminders going into one page and an excel sheet of tasks that just keeps getting longer and the dates are enough to make me break into cold sweat. I need to take a break before I implode. Yesterday was stressful. After losing a crucial part of an interview in my recording due to my own stupidity, I had to perform damage control and came home on the verge of tears feeling like a complete loser.

I am not worried about meeting deadlines, I am already going as fast as I can, I am worried about not being up to the mark. Obviously, my mind couldn’t stop at constantly making me feel incompetent it started asking dangerous questions like, “Are you sure you can do this?”, “Why are you like this?”, “Why can’t you do any better?” and the like. I tried watching a movie convincing myself it wasn’t all bad. Things weren’t so bad because I had thought on my feet and solved the problem with regard to the interview. I also had notes. As a perfectionist though I felt like I had failed myself.

I was supposed to upload a blog post yesterday but I was too tired and anxious to write one. I just wanted to put writing aside and wanted to come back to feeling like myself. I was so tired of word documents and blinking cursors. I just wanted to forget yesterday ever happened. To make myself feel slightly better, I ordered myself a high-tech recorder that is used by professionals. It was my way of telling myself not to trust technology and my brain, more back-ups could never hurt.

To top everything off, I had to do the interview with a broken front tooth. Not that appearances are so important, but I looked like I had been in a fight before I arrived for the interview. I was embarrassed and when you’re the one asking questions you have to open your mouth quite a bit. It just wasn’t my day yesterday. I guess there’s nothing much I can do and nobody can make it better. But I need a break, I need a solid break without talking to people I don’t know, chasing after them to give me information, returning to one location every day to find that one person who I need to talk to complete my article, re-doing every draft because nothing feels good enough and continue filling the excel sheets in red.

I just want to get my perspective back, I feel like an overused wet rag. It’s stressful, and there are people who don’t understand that this is hard. It’s hard because I am an introvert, it’s hard because it’s a lot to do. Each article comes up to at least 1000 words. When I write, it doesn’t feel like much but it’s hard work. I’d like to have somebody to listen to how hard this is, even on this blog I can’t properly explain it. I have a good support system, and luckily a few wonderful people who get it. That makes it slightly easier.

Right now my mind is a blank space. I have nothing to fill it with. I just want to have a nice cold drink, a good movie and to put my phone on silent until the end of eternity. I am exhausted from having interacted with too many people. This is why I don’t like talking to people. My profession, unfortunately, demands extroverted behaviour as do most professions. So when the job takes so much out of me, in my personal life whether it’s family or friends I don’t have to be extroverted.

I need a place I don’t have to talk or be the one asking questions. I spend most of my time getting people to talk as a writer and it’s ten times harder when they’re introverted themselves. I ask the questions on a daily basis. Contrary to what people believe writing is talking but through a pen or keyboard. It’s the same as making conversation. Even this blog is interaction. I am talking to you right now. After writing so much do you think I’ll have anything more to say? I don’t. So when people ask me to talk all I really want to do is listen. I talk enough already.

I am not going to press the backspace on this post. I have never done so on this blog. At least unlike writing for someone else, here I speak on my own time and on my own terms. There, I am saying what I have to say, I have to say what someone else said and what needs to be said. Here I can say what I feel, and what I want to say. It’s a small liberty in this demanding life.


One thought on “Blank Spaces

  1. Poonacha PG says:

    Any honest journalist will have many such blank spaces in their journey. Every journey of life perhaps is that interesting or painful. May be that is what makes such journey’s more challenging and interesting. Keep writing. It is very hard to write about blank spaces in our lives. Not too many people write about them. That is the real life to live.


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