I’ve liked writing since I was 9 years old. Since that time I’ve (nearly) always kept personal diaries, written fictional stories, and more recently, written non fictional blogs. However, as much as I love writing, I find ‘writers block’, and indeed ‘everything productive block’ extremely hard to overcome.
Sometimes my head is so full of so many different ideas that they all mingle together into an incoherent mush so that I can’t possibly decipher them in order to be able to write anything of sense or interest.
Other times, something will remind me of a past incident involving something that makes me angry and upset, such as a past bullying incident (I have lots to pick from!), a time when I was underestimated and assumed to have intellectual difficulties (again, lots of examples to choose from!) or an example of being prejudiced and stigmatised against in relation to my mental health or Aspergers, (again, a multitude of examples to pick from!) This will subsequently make me anxious, angry and upset, and my emotions will get in the way of me being able to write anything, and then I get frustrated with myself for not being able to write about anything, and the vicious circle goes around and around and around! I keep thinking how important it is for me to blog about my past childhood and adult experiences in order to raise awareness about Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Anxiety and Depression, but then feeling too anxious to be able to write it. For example, one thing that I feel is particularly important to write about is how I came to be diagnosed with Autism (when I was two) and my educational and personal journey thereafter. However, it conjures up a lot of emotions for me so I find it very difficult to sit down and focus for long enough to write more than a couple of sentences without being too overcome by negative thoughts and emotions to be able to complete it.
So, those blogs are on their way, it’s just going to be a little while before I feel ready to write about it.
Mental procrastination also gets in the way of my studies for my masters. As I recently learned, a very common Asperger’s trait is to be very perfectionist about your work, so much so in my case, that I find it excruciating to let go of an assignment and hand it in, which means that I have sometimes had to have extensions on deadlines; or, in other instances, I worry so incessantly about writing a good essay that my anxiety prevents me from sitting down and actually doing it. When reading different materials for essays, the niggling question of “which information from this book/journal should I extract for this essay and how should I then respond to it?” sometimes prevents me from concentrating on reading the bloody thing! In the field of Humanities, you never feel as though you know enough, and I definitely don’t know enough! Imagine trying to gather as much knowledge as possible whilst simultaneously trying to meet more than one deadline! Not. A. Chance. One of them has to give, and making the decision about which one has to give is AGONISING!
I not only procrastinate when it comes to assignments and writing, I also procrastinate when it comes to keeping on top of practical tasks such as tidying my room. When an essay is due in, or when I’m ill, I no longer have a bedroom floor… All my clean clothes, letters, books, bags, you name it, replace my floor. Different items of clothing and different possessions have to go into different places, and then when you get to the appropriate drawer, it’s too bloody full for all of your stuff to fit into it! GRRRRRRRR! Yes, I do have clear outs, but it never seems to completely alleviate that problem! Putting stuff away is, when you have work to do, very time consuming. I know, I know, I should make a timetable and do a specific task at a specific time of a specific day, and blah blah blah. Simple, right? NO!! Making a timetable is itself a time consuming chore which I have no idea how to do. Sticking to the timetable is not an 100% guarantee because life is unpredictable and it gets in the way! However, I am going to make a more conscious effort to do this because, when I finish my MA, I want to find full time work and move out in order to be more independent, so I need to be able to cope with the demands of independent living. So watch this space! I’ll keep you posted with how I’m getting on!