Too much

Writing — for myself — has been one of the hardest things to do in the last six months. Sometimes I find myself sitting in front of the empty screen, wanting, but not being able to channel my thoughts into words.

Because they’re too much.

How do I even begin to talk about grief when it still feels too wordless, too free-formed to be pinned down and controlled?

How do I write about my inability to sleep, or my desire to drink, or my difficulties staying focused?

How do I untangle the knot of emotions left behind and string them up into a proper train of thought?

Sometimes I wonder, am I still a writer if I’ve only been writing for money? For work, for clients?

Am I still a writer if my personal projects have been on hold?

Am I still a writer if the process feels difficult? If putting 200 words down on a page feels like squeezing water from a rock.

So I write things people ask me to. I write about artificial intelligence, ageing societies and journalism in Malaysia. I write when I have to, when it pays the bills. I write in other people’s voices.

You’re still a writer if you keep writing, I tell myself. So I keep writing.

And perhaps one day, when my too-muchness becomes easier to bear, I’ll write for myself again.

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