Confidence

What should one do when every morning you wake up and think –

“Today is the day the duck is broken! Today is the day I get back on the horse and get back to the grind and get back to my old self.”

…and then at Midnight you shut down the screen and you realise that it was just another Tuesday like the previous Monday where nothing got written and it was just like the previous Friday where no decent photograph was taken?

It has felt, for the past 7 months that I have been walking through a stream of mud that just keeps inching higher and higher up my creative legs. Creeping higher and higher, slowing me down to a crawl. It frustrates me to know that I have these ideas in my head and I have the starting lines to 100 stories and set ups to 100 photos that I think would look great, but once I set down to try and realise them the connection between my head and hands just don’t want to fire up.

I ask for no sympathy. It is not needed. I know what the problem is and it is being fixed. The proof to me that the solution is in progress has been made obvious by the fact that I have submitted a review that was outstanding for an album that was desperately needed for a site that I write for and the fact that I am willingly and knowingly writing this with no stress.

A picture of a blue sky with fluffy white clouds

Once again blue skies are starting to appear

I have to make a few choices at this time though. I have to decide how to keep myself well.

Each day I have “rituals”, things that I do each day without fail.

  • Check the BBC News Webpage as my first port of call and multiple times an hour after
  • Check Facebook multiple times an hour
  • Check on Twitter at least once an hour
  • Any breaking News Story is “Pushed” to my phone as an alert and I am notified.

Do we see a pattern here? I am a news junkie. I have to be switched into the news at all times. All four of the above items are to do with what is happening around the world NOW. Whilst Facebook is the least newsy of them it is still a valid news outlet as I gather from my Contact list opinion and views, which I value and trust just as much as I would a journalist from The Guardian or BBC.

The past few weeks’ things have been getting harder and harder to rationalise in my own head. I see things on the news and in news reports and it just plain depress me. Makes me despair at what the hell this world is coming too.

This year, 2014, is the centenary of the outbreak of The Great War, allegedly the war to end all wars. Yet here we are 100 years later and the whole planet is doing its damnedest to blow itself to kingdom come and nobody can see the blatant stupidity of it all.

I once saw a piece of drama entitled the “The Sins of The Mother” the basic premise was whatever sin the mother did in her life would be passed on to the child she left behind and she would be doomed to repeat, this would continue until the curse was broken. My memory is fuzzy on the way the curse was broken, I was working at the time and doing 3 different jobs at the same time. The premise hit home, but the exact details didn’t.

At the moment, Planet Earth is going through this “curse” and no one is doing anything to try and put an end to it. Everyone is too busy positioning themselves to be in the right place at the right time when the inevitable happens.

This week I read a description of what happens when a young family hears an Air Raid Siren in Israel. I take no sides on the politics, it confuses me as I have said many times on this blog… all politics confuse me and I try and keep up but they talk to quickly and never say what they mean, but the description of what this father felt like in the 90 seconds he had to get his two sons to the safety of a known Air Raid Shelter before the Iron Dome landed just brings it home, that the people who press the damn buttons that release the rockets DON’T know what it’s like to have to worry that your two sons are NOT going to trip up in the street and not make it to the shelter in time. The description moved me, not because it was written by an Israeli or a Palestinian, it was because it was written by a human with feelings and that is what is being lost and forgotten today. The generals and journalists at the end of the day add up the body counts, but to them they are just numbers, they forget that each number on that list was a human who didn’t make it to a shelter that time.

So what do I do? I can’t bury my head in the sand, I would just become some staid sheep toeing the party line of what it regurgitated every news bulletin. I can’t expend more time and effort to go out seek more diverse coverage to get that Fair and Balanced view as I believe that wouldn’t help me in the long run. I think. I just need to moderate what and how much I take in. I need to turn off the “push” notifications and change the default homepage for a few days. I need a change of scenery. I have tried the stay off the computer bit before and it was nice, but all I really did was ended up watching daytime TV for too long and didn’t get much done. I have 7 months of stuff to catch up on. I have to start cleaning my boots off. That anti-creative sludge isn’t going to clean itself off my Doc Martens on its own.

Until Next Time…

Put Down The Guns - Start Peace

2 comments

  1. Hello Paul –

    Our mutual friend Mort Cohen directed me to this blog. I’m flattered that something I wrote struck a chord with people I never met. Further, I’m glad that it was the impetus for your to write. I have been going through a similar writing dry spell, and this incident forced me to sit down and write.

    I have gone through several drafts with what I want to write next, and have not been satisfied with the results. So I will end with this. Israel was forced into a war against terror, against evil, and against aggression. It is a shame that innocent Palestinians are killed, but that is what happens when a terrorist organization is elected to govern, and those terrorists choose residential neighborhoods as their military headquarters.

    If you want to continue this discussion, I am happy to do so.

    Arye Zacks

    1. What I have found in my time writing all these blogs over the past 10 plus years is to know when is the right time to keep quiet about something you don’t have a complete grasp on. Which takes me back to my comments in my post about politics. Before I turned 18 I knew whom I was going to vote for because my family always voted that way and we were a Labour family and they would look after us. As time went on, I started to see that all politicians would say anything to get your vote. My personal journey with politics died right around that awakening.

      Of course I still watched the news and the problems in the Middle East was a constant and, if the truth be told it was also one of the single most confusing issues. I never could get my head around the situation. A friend asked me a few years ago where I stood, I still couldn’t answer, even being 15 years older.

      What I do know now is that Stories need to be told. Not propaganda stories that officials would want the world to see, but the stories that you told. The stories that urged me to sit down after 7 months of not being able to write and help me do something that I used to have a passion for and do it again. Those stories need to be told from all sides, so that in some way a change can start to be made and those with some kind of real power will start to take notice.

      I hope that you and your family are safe today and tomorrow.

      If you would feel more comfortable talking through email, you can find my email address under the email icon on the websites sidebar.

      Paul

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