I have to write so I don’t do other useless things

I can either rest the laptop on my lap and find a million distractions on the computer as I try to unwind from worthless yet tiring days, or I can just open up this box on blogger and start typing whatever comes to mind.  Typing up stuff like this doesn’t cost money, or at least doesn’t involve a direct an immediate outlay (the costs are hidden in my carbon footprint and in my energy bill) and is ultimately more fulfilling than anything else I end up doing when I am tired of thinking about all the things that are ostensibly important things to think about.

The thing that I am most tired of thinking about is not being able to write.  So here I am, writing.  I know I am just rambling and not saying anything that could interest anyone or anything that could take me to that haloed place where writers dwell.  Let’s just say I am being selfish.

The last 164 words have soaked up the last ten minutes with such seamless ease, ten minutes that would have been spent on Facebook scrolling through my news feed and gaining nothing from the experience.  These precious minutes could also have been spent on the website of New York Times or The Guardian.  Ordinarily this is time well spent but then one notices the “share” links at the bottom of all the articles one reads and one wants to share them with one’s virtual friends.

Such sharing, be it links to news or one’s own thoughts, always leads to expectations of reaction.  The reaction, when it comes is like a drug.  It feels good to be heard, to find people who share one’s views but then one craves more of the same.  The “reaction drug” is as viciously potent as any other easily abused drug.

The voicing of an opinion, the public declaration of our likes and dislikes, the sharing of music or of any article, from any news source one frequents, also has tinges of competition; more self-branding, more shouting about one’s uniqueness.  It’s nothing more than ensuring some form of minor immortality.  It amounts to virtual screaming, often shrill in pitch. And since birds of a feather do always flock together all “friends” often end up sharing the same links, the same songs.  They “like” the same things.  So if I hadn’t been spending the last twenty minutes talking about this virtual screaming for attention I probably would have been screaming for some attention and what would that get me except more self-loathing?

[This post will end up appearing on Facebook because I checked a box somewhere, some time ago, that makes everything I write here available to everyone on Facebook.  So even as I talk about this virtual screaming I am still doing it and have no intentions of not doing it or undoing it.  But hey, shame is another casualty of these times we live in.]

So, yes, this piece of writing is pointless.  It’s directionless, it’s going nowhere and doing nothing for anyone.  But these days I am a real nowhere woman, sitting in this nowhere land, making all my nowhere plans for nobody.  But when I allow even one word to follow another word; when words go marching one by one – hurrah, hurrah – I feel better.  The change in mood is almost instantaneous.  The air clears a bit.  I can think again, even breathe again.  If before I was in a state of numbness about my condition, about standing at the corner of “This Dull Life Street” and “Exciting New Life Avenue”, paralyzed, now I feel as though I am ready to take a step in the right direction.  Writing anything, even nonsense such as this, has that immediate effect.

I feel like nattering on some more… about changing the settings at home, about placing a desk near a window, about surrounding myself with floor to ceiling bookshelves, about not taking for granted the importance of the right physical setting for doing the thing one is most passionate, most serious about.  Resting my head on the headboard of the bed with the laptop crouching in the space between my knees and my belly while I do pointless things on the Internet is not going to help me with my need to write.  Writing this gibberish has allowed me to see this with some clarity.  The ghostly light of this realization should last at least until the next ramble en route to some meaningful writing.

This ramble is now coming to a close.  It has succeeded in clearing away some of the funk.  Some happy hormones appear to have been released and I feel somewhat prepared to think about or take on the next set of ostensibly important tasks.


  1. Lovely!! And I hope the next task isn't logging right back into FB 🙂

  2. Pragya, I think this is true for everyone. The mindless surfing, sharing, tweeting, FBing. And of course, the writer's block. This kind of aimless outpouring too has its place in clearing the cobwebs. Keep going! Good luck.

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