When bad days make things better

This hasn’t been a good week.

Sometimes I have days, occasionally an entire week, where the world just doesn’t feel right. This week was one of those weeks.

It started on Tuesday. It was a perfectly normal day, no reason for me to see it as any different to any other day. But then something small happened. Someone got offered something I wanted, and I didn’t. It wasn’t something I expected to get offered, but it was something I wanted and I didn’t get it. The minute I found out, I couldn’t stop feeling sad. Not ‘oh I’m a bit disappointed’ sad. I struggled to fight back tears the rest of the day, my heart beat raced, I felt uncontrollably upset, and found myself on a downward spiral of questioning everything about myself and my life. The logical part of my brain screamed at the emotional part that I was over reacting, that it wasn’t a big deal, and I knew it was right, and yet I couldn’t help my emotional explosion. It was almost painful.

Why am I am rambling on about this bad day I experienced? Because out of it, something brilliant happened for my writing.

I have been struggling with the seventh episode of my script for Hunters Ridge. It has quite a serious subject at the centre of it – the death of a lead characters father and the knock on emotional effect of his death. I have been trying to write this from a place of knowledge and experience – write what you know. Having been through a similar experience, I expected this to be easy. But for the past few weeks I have failed to get into the characters mindset, to understand how she would feel or why.

After my terrible day, I sat at the train station waiting for a train home (as I am right now, writing this). I opened the app I write my scripts on, and stared at the same page I have stared at every day for the past two weeks. And there it was, out of my terrible mood, the sudden spark. Finally I understood how she felt, understood the uncontrollable outburst of emotion. I felt her helplessness. It all felt real to me. And I used it. I started typing and I didn’t stop until my train pulled up at my local station almost an hour later. The dialogue I had struggled with just flowed from me, believable and truthful. My darkness sat on the page as beautiful, wonderful writing.

That darkness isn’t fun, I can tell you that much. But for once, I found a way to deal with it. I didn’t bottle it up and try to push it away, pretend it didn’t exist. I used it, to create something I can look back at proudly.

We all have our dark days, the triggers that set us off on the downward spiral. But for once, I realised that darkness doesn’t have to be all bad.

Now I’m off to have a weekend of doing nothing. Because sometimes, we need to give our minds a rest. Mental health is as important as physical.

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Chapter 1: Procrastination is my best friend

If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s procrastinating. In fact, writing this post is just another way for me to procrastinate from the script writing I’ve been meaning to do all day. I started writing, then found multiple other things to do in order to do anything other than finish writing. Nothing is easier than procrastination.

I write lists every day. Lists of task for my day job, lists of scenes to add to my current script, lists of character names to use in the future. List after list after list. But very rarely do those lists amount to anything. Why? Because they’re just another way for me to procrastinate.

House work = procrastination

Netflix binge = procrastination

Shopping = expensive procrastination

Walk = Healthy procrastination

All things I could do another time, but instead, I do them right then, in that moment, just to put off writing.

Seriously, I wish I knew how to stop myself procrastinating. I have wasted so many hours of my life doing things that really didn’t need doing, just to put off writing. Each time I promise myself that next time, I won’t do it. Problem is, I’m normally hours into procrastinating before I’ve even realised I’m doing it.

 

The only time I avoid procrastinating? When writing is what I’m doing to procrastinate!

Maybe that’s the solution – perhaps if I make the tasks I procrastinate with into the tasks I have to do, and the writing my procrastination, I’d be much more productive.

We’ll have to wait and see. Right now, I’m off to finish writing… ooh look Master of None season 2!