As always it’s been quite a struggle to sit down behind my computer to write a blogpost, but here I am. 9 days into April, trying to remind myself that I started this blog to make myself write more, and that it doesn’t matter that already I missed the goal of writing 1 post a week. But – better late than never. April has been a busy month so far. I passed my Old English exam, which was a relief, but now I need to do something far more daunting – write my BA thesis. Besides reading a countless amount of articles and books about Dracula and Victorian times, I’ve been working a lot too and trying to maintain a somewhat social life. Although I haven’t technically really stuck to my April goals, I don’t feel all that bad about it. I’ve had some bad days where I couldn’t get myself to stop watching television (mostly after a long day of work), but also some better days where I really wanted to be lazy and watch reruns of Catfish but forced myself to do something else. I’ve finally managed to finish the first volume of Game of Thrones. I know lots of people rave about it and can’t get enough, but I just couldn’t get into it. I think part of the reason for that is because I only picked it up a few times per month, reading a few chapters at a time – I just sort of lost track of what was happening. Anyway, finishing that one meant that I could finally start with another book that has been high on my to-read list for a while (no matter how much I dislike a book, I always do want to finish it before starting another one): Yes Please by Amy Poehler.
So far, I love it. I took the beautiful hard cover edition from my book shelf two days ago and this time, I have to force myself to put it down and focus on other things. I’ve read about 1/3 so far and I think it’s brilliant. Everything she writes feels so relatable, and the way she puts her thoughts into words is incredibly entertaining. I even brought the book to uni so that I could continue reading (while my brain was pleading, please work on your thesis, and then my heart went all like NO THIS IS INCREDIBLE I LOVE YOU AMY POEHLER) and I sat there in the cafeteria, laughing out loud. At the moment, the book is lying next to me and I’m trying to ignore the little voice that says please read me now. Yes please, let’s read now… No – focus. The reason I have it right here is because I wanted to quote a passage from the preface, where Amy discusses how difficult it is to actually write a book. She gives advice on how to do it and more specifically, how to deal with your brain in the process. “What do we do when the voice in our head is yelling that WE ARE NEVER GONNA MAKE IT?” This caught my attention because basically, this is my brain 24/7. Then, the advice: “Well, the first thing we do is take our brain out and put it in a drawer. Stick it somewhere and let it tantrum until it wears itself out. You may still hear the brain and all the shitty things it is saying to you, but it will be muffled … And then you just do it. You dig in and write.” I took Amy’s advice (of course it’s totally legit to talk about her like she’s my best friend), stuffed my brain in a cupboard for a little nap, and sat down to write this blogpost. Now that we’re on the topic of writing – although I haven’t been able to do weekly posts yet, I have in fact been writing more. One of my teachers is helping me with my writing, and knowing that he expects me to actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) is a good incentive to write. Generally speaking, this is how it goes: I go and see him, ask for a deadline, complain a little when he does so while at the same time I know it will help, procrastinate until two or three hours before said deadline, stress out a little because of the pressure of that ticking clock, send the written pieces to him and then wait with a sick feeling in my stomach for the feedback. It’s been good, though. Scary as hell, but good. The feedback has been really helpful so far and it feels nice to work on my poetry and short story skills again. So I’ve started writing again – the next step is to find the motivation and discipline to write purely for my own pleasure, because I can’t not write, instead of needing the pressure of a deadline.
Next week is going to be busy again, with two full days of work, a couple of workouts, lectures, homework and the first important thesis deadline looming around the corner. I’m going to have to be disciplined in order to finish everything but I’m going to go for it. It does help that I love me some mysticism and vampires, so working on my thesis isn’t the worst thing. Tomorrow, I’m going to make a schedule for the week in my new Bullet Journal. I came across this concept a while ago on YouTube (I found Boho Berry’s account). Basically, it is a journal in which you track a myriad of different things: long term goals, things you need to do, read, buy, etc. The reason why I like this so much is because the Bullet Journals I have seen so far, look amazing – it’s a great way to get creative (making banners, headings, doodles, different lay-outs, practise handwriting, writing quotations and poems etc.). You can draw or write down monthly memories, create a page to track your habits, write down challenges you want to take part in – the options are endless and I can’t wait to get started. Of course I just had to buy a new Moleskine notebook with a nice new pen, so now there aren’t any excuses left not to.
But for now, I’m going to get ready to see one of my best friends, go out and dance like no one’s watching, before facing life and responsibilities again in the morning.