This Changes Everything Vs. My Life on the Road


For NaNoWriMo last year I wrote a blog post a day and one of them was about comparative reading. I think it is such an amazing concept and I wanted to do it again. It gives you a deeper understanding of what you have read, how certain writers tackle certain aspects, and how you can shift your focus when reading.

“This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate” is a book by Naomi Klein from 2014 which looks into the economic, social, and environmental aspects of climate change while also analysing how capitalism brought us there. It was a fascinating book and will probably be one of the main sources for my own project because it has so much wisdom in it.

Gloria Steinem’s memoir “My Life on the Road” was published in 2015. She describes her life as an activist, the people she has met and who have guided her throughout, and the issues women were and are still facing today. It was inspiring to read about a life lived so fully.

What I loved most about these two books was their inclusiveness, their focus on minorities and their unique struggles. Steinem writes about her experiences with people who have faced discrimination and how they dealt with them. What we can do about them. Naomi Klein is also very aware and she takes it a step further, linking these issues to climate change.

One aspect that made me look at “My Life on the Road” through an environmental lens in the first place was this one by Steinem in her interview with Emma Watson: If we had real equality between women and men, women would be able to decide for themselves if they want to receive children or not. They would have full reproductive freedom and would not have to have children they don’t want or cannot have. It would offer them opportunities to work, to invest in education, to live more sustainably. The effect of climate change also depends on global population size. This is why feminism should be one of the main strategies to conquer climate change. Naomi Klein adds to this as she says that every movement aiming for equality is a step in the right direction of conquering climate change.

Our environmental problems today are the product of hundreds of years of inequality, of exploitation, and expression of power over nature. In a culture where not everyone is able to work together because of prejudices and strong opposing opinions, there will be no unified action against climate change. One which we so desperately need. Gloria Steinem argues that these movements are indeed happening right now, though, and that she has experienced living right among them. Felt their power and the hope they radiate. This is also what I noticed in the end of “This Changes Everything”. There is a way to get through this. We have to transform our values and work for a more just world.

“My Life on the Road” examines how this is done in detail. Going around, talking to people. Listening to their struggles and spreading awareness. Giving talks to activists, forming groups, marching. These are the practical aspects of the great change Naomi Klein wrote about.

Since Klein’s book is researched to a great detail and could be seen more as a piece of journalism, it does not have as many personal stories in it as “My Life on the Road”. However, the part I loved the most, was her telling the story how she struggled to get pregnant and how her son was born. She wrote about the BP oil spill and its effect on the eggs and youngest fish in lakes and oceans. It was beautifully linked and thus all the more powerful. “My Life on the Road” as a memoir has all these stories and anecdotes which are linked to the pressing issues of our time. This taught me a lot: When writing my own book I have to connect my own stories to the issues I’m talking about. Otherwise, they will get too distant. I don’t want to be a preacher. I want to be an observer of the world, a storyteller.

Both books have changed my perception. After finishing “This Changes Everything” today I am a bit more hopeful that we can avert the crisis, but I’m also more painfully aware of the damage that we have done thus far. I feel physical pain in my stomach and heart when I read about oil spills, about devastating pollution, and the exploitation of people all over the world. Gloria Steinem assured me through the women’s movement that this can be changed. I have had the great amount of opportunities only through women like her. Once we recognise our power as a unified people, we can make a difference. Once we tell our stories and share our values, we will succeed.

Both of them showed me a journalism at its finest. Since it is a profession I could really see myself in, it was interesting to read about their lives. I felt a personal connection through the love of writing and the passion with which they dive into their topics.

What is the overall message of both books?
Be hopeful. Work harder. Be more inclusive. Listen and learn.

Deadlines and Goals


There is never enough time to do everything. We think that these organised people around us somehow make new time to do all things they love. They don’t. They just have their priorities straight. For effective time management – every book on that subject will tell you so – you need to set your goals. You need to see where you want to go, how you will get there, and when you will do so. That would be all fine if there wasn’t that nagging voice in the back of your head: Does it really matter RIGHT NOW? Couldn’t you just do it in two weeks time? Nobody will care anyway. Watch one more episode. Meet with your friends for dinner.

We put our tasks off until we can’t anymore because we have reached the ultimate deadline. Resulting in stress and bad outcomes. Why not invest more time in realistic planning before hand and then getting the job done? (Hint: we are lazy)

For all this wonderful planning (that I by the way adore) you need to know your goals in life. And then hustle. I just read Lilly Singh’s “How to be a Bawse” and it is awesome. So much practical advice on how to a) be a decent human being b) get shit done c) set your goals and d) grow and climb the ladders of life. You should really check it out. This book is a kick in your booty that was located lazily on the sofa. My booty has been in a very comfortable position lately. I told myself to write daily for this whole year. I made it until the middle of April. Then I stopped. Too much to do, I told myself. My dream – becoming a writer – seemed too far away. I had writer’s block on my latest book project and I just couldn’t get myself to add any more words. The mere thought was ridiculous. How could I write anything every anyway?

Instead I told myself that there was too much to do for uni and then ate my body weight in peanuts and watched youtube videos. Congratulations.

Goal setting for my blog hasn’t worked out that well in the past (look at the hundred’s of posts where I told you I was going to upload regularly. That went so well…) But it doesn’t help to complain about that. Let’s try again. Only talking doesn’t bring me anywhere. I need to do what I preach.

To kick myself in the booty, get away from all this “I am so stressed” nonsense, striving towards my goal of being a writer, I will post once a week. Please hold me accountable for that. Write me angry emails or comments if I do not provide a post every Friday.

Do you have a project you need to get done? Set yourself a deadline and tell your friends to check if you achieved it. Write me in the comments! Tell people about your goals and you are more likely to succeed. Let’s beat the monster of procrastination together!

On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft


Yesterday I finished reading Stephen King’s On writing. It’s an amazing book, it tells you so much about what being an author means. He included lots of useful tips I would like to share with you.

How to develop a story?

This is what resonated most with me. He describes the writing process as carving out a fossil from the earth. You have to be careful to not destroy it. You look for traces and follow the bones, you sometimes even work only with brushes. Don’t force a storyline on your characters. Throw stones on their way and let them overcome them. See how they react. This way the story stays interesting. You never know what will happen.

You should always write a first draft and edit out at least 10% in the second session. After writing the first one, you should take a break of several weeks. Work on something different. You will have a different view on your story afterwards.

I apply the same process to my paintings. I love working on portraits. I spread out thin layers of colour, start working on the eyes, switch to another part. Go back and forth. Layer by layer. If I don’t like something, I paint over it. Writing, like painting, is a craft.

What to cut?

Adverbs. “The road to hell is paved with adverbs,” he wrote. I know what he means. I always wrote these extremely descriptive tales with beautifully chosen adverbs that were fitting perfectly… Throw them out. Focus on the story. Focus on the characters.

Show, don’t tell. “Clean your room, for heaven’s sake!”, his mother shouted angrily. Do you think your readers are stupid? Of course she is angry! Don’t tell the reader that, he already knows. Leave the unimportant stuff out.

At the moment I’m editing all my texts from NaNoWriMo 2016 which is a lot of fun. I cut half of the words. These texts are much sharper now. Focused. The rhythm improved, the speed increased. I like them a lot better. If you want to see the results, just go back to my texts, I have written down how many words I deleted.

Write every day.

My plan for 2017 is to write every day. So far I have achieved this. It’s early in the year, though. A few nights ago I was restless and couldn’t go to sleep. I noticed: You haven’t written anything today! I sat at my computer for two hours and slept like a baby.

If you are struggling to summon the energy for writing: Listen to Hamilton, the musical. I am obsessed with it at the moment. Lin-Manuel Miranda. Gosh, that man’s a genius. I can’t understand how I haven’t listened to the songs yet!

“Non-Stop” and “My Shot”. These are the songs for all the desperate writers out there. Write day and night like you running out of time. Like you need it to survive. Go write. Then edit it. Throw the adverbs out. Get it out there. Open your door, let people read it. That’s what being a writer is. Do it for your love of words and stories.

NaNoWriMo 2016
Day 1: http://wp.me/p397E8-4WH
Day 2: http://wp.me/p397E8-4Xb
Day 3: http://wp.me/p397E8-4Xg
Day 4: http://wp.me/p397E8-4Xm
Day 5: http://wp.me/p397E8-4Xu
Day 6: http://wp.me/p397E8-4XA

New Year, New Page


Happy New Year!!!

The start of a new year always feels quite special to me. It’s a fresh start, the possibility to improve, to become better, to reflect. In the fading days of 2016 I read “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. It changed my perception a lot. Until this point I have always been quite a reactive person who never really knew what to do, where to go with life. Those habits taught me this: I need to manage my life all by myself but I can rely on other people to help me. I am the responsible and it is my choice to live the life I want to. I need to set up principles and a mission for myself to always have a goal in mind. It gives life a structure and it makes it a lot easier to prioritise. The book gave me a lot, it also taught me about human interactions. How we need to listen to others, how we should respond.

Here are some of the resolutions I have set up for myself:

More books, less social media. I deleted all social media apps from my phone and suddenly, I’m not scrolling away my time anymore. I have already finished reading one book this year (Home by Toni Morrison). Every time I feel the urge to check my social media, I read instead. It’s wonderful having that much time. (I will still be posting here, though. Just like last year, at least once a week on Friday.)

As I am implementing those principles I also get a lot better at time management. I distinguish important and urgent, leave the unimportant stuff out and instead focus on what is important but not urgent. Those are the ones we benefit from long-term. Which leads us to goal 2:

Writing every day. When I set up my mission statement, it became clear to me that writing is an essential part of my life and I really want it to be. Nanowrimo last year also taught me that. What do writers do? Read and write. Every single day. I have a lot of drafts sitting on my computer and every night I will sit down for an hour and write a bit, put some words on the paper, create a habit. It leaves me relaxed, inspired, hopeful and happy. I don’t need to write towards a specific goal, I just love the process itself.

Learn to love yourself. That’s a difficult one. I am so good at self-doubt. It’s the one discipline I could go to the olympics with. By acting on my principles, by being proactive and choosing my own path, I will probably achieve some kind of self-love in the end. Because I learned that true happiness can only come out of myself and that nobody else is responsible for my wellbeing.

Get out more, laugh more. My favourite memory of 2016 was a road trip with my girls. It was fantastic, even though everything went wrong. It was an adventure. With a lot of laughter. That’s what I should go for this year. Say yes to opportunities.

Listen more attentively. Be a better person. Now, that sounds cheesy, doesn’t it? When I wrote down what is important to me, I listed Honesty and Empathy first. I need to work a lot on this. I want to be a better friend, a better human. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”. Habit 5.

Eat healthier, eat consciously. I’ve been a vegan for 3 months now. I still have a lot to learn. A lot of new things to try. I’m excited to be cooking more, exploring more.

Learn how to meditate and how to do nothing. I can’t do these things. I’m so bad at just sitting around. I constantly need to make something, say something, think something. I have to stop, give myself some rest.

Take good care of myself, accept help. We don’t need to beat through life alone. There are lovely people along the way who will offer a helping hand. The trick is to accept it.

What about you? Which goals have you set for 2017? Do you believe in resolutions? What has influenced you last year?

NaNoWriMo Day 15: On Reading and Writing


We are half way through NaNoWriMo! Day 15! Keep going! I have an article in two parts for you today. Let’s first focus on the writing part. What have I learned in these first fifteen days?

Writing is hard. Writing every day, writing three pages every day is particularly hard. It is not the exam phase yet so I still find the time to do it. Mostly in the evenings. That’s the most creative portion of the day. Fuelled by a gazillion cups of tea (I don’t count it in cups of tea anymore but in packages of tea bags: probably around 3.) I made my way and wrote every single day.

So here are some statistics so far:

cups of tea: uncountable

characters killed: none – that’s fortunate…

emotional break downs due to unreached word count: 2

emotional break downs due to sleep deprivation: 5849

emotional break downs due to uncertainty what to write about: 38429373299

times cursing myself that I started this project once again: 15

times falling asleep on my laptop screen: 5

Ted Talks watched as inspiration: 34

The last two ones are accurate. Very accurate.

Things I have learned so far (also including last year’s Nanowrimo):

  • You can indeed force your brain to come up with something new every day.
  • Ted Talks and documentaries about Salmon and Climate Change help. Maybe not for every novel, though. If you want to write a blog entry about the environment every day because you are too afraid of fiction… yeah… might be helpful.
  • You can trick your brain into thinking that it needs less sleep than it actually does. Most of the time.
  • I need around 2-3 hours to produce a decent text the length NaNoWriMo founders want us to write every day. Another hour to fix all the major errors I have made. To freak out about how that text will come across. To stop myself from deleting everything. To search for motivational quotes on tumblr. To finally stop thinking and upload the finished text.
    Sometimes the steps after writing take longer than the actual process of writing. Which is I guess pretty accurate for a lot of authors out there. We are made to permanently criticise our own work and freak out about it. At least I can’t picture a process that would look different. Maybe I’m only giving myself a hard time?
  • That I, after all, really enjoy this emotional roller coaster that is writing a text a day.
  • That checking your word count after every sentence you have written is not beneficial to your overall text structure.
  • That it helps to silently mutter “Keep going” to yourself. Often in combination with some curse words.
  • That a lot of great authors have said great things about writing. I have written them into my calendar to keep me motivated. Hemingway said some great things…

All you have to do is write a true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.

Now that sounds easy, doesn’t it? He always makes it looks so easy that whole writing thing. Putting word after word, avoiding wrong ones, writing true… I’m more a fan of the whole: “Sit at a typewriter and bleed” thing. Simply seems more accurate to the whole process.

Crippling anxiety, self doubt, exhaustion and all those questions. Am I offending anyone by saying that? Could that be said another, nicer, more true way? Should it be said at all? Do I know enough about this subject to even have an opinion on it? Should I even write at all? Ever? Again? I suppose you, who are participating in NaNoWriMo or ever have, will know all these thoughts.

Now onto the reading part. I love reading. As you might have guessed if you read any of my articles. I invest my money in two things: Food and books. That’s about it. You have to physically drag me out of a bookstore. If I were to go to the library with you – you would have to carry three bags for me and wait approximately 4 hours until I am out of that building again. I just love books so much.

My problem, though, is that I do not have that much time for reading. That’s a common excuse, I know. But I have writing and painting and drawing and knitting and making music and all these other things I love. And uni. Obviously. At the end of the year I will have read around 50 books. That’s not that much. A book a week.

My strategy is to combine my hobbies. I am a woman, I’m able to multitask! Knitting or painting while listening to an audiobook. Reading a sentence, writing a sentence. Doing uni work and reading… Well, I have to work on that last one.

I’m really into biographies and non-fiction at the moment as I have already mentioned. I’m reading Barack Obama’s stories about his family, Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay and Stefan Zweig’s The World of Yesterday. Those are what I call my active reads. There are a lot of books that I started and probably have to restart because I already can’t remember what they are about anymore. Too many books I’m reading parallel.

Yesterday I found a Ted Talk by an incredibly inspiring woman named Ann Morgan (https://ayearofreadingtheworld.com). She thought her reading was too narrow, just British and North American books. She decided to read the world in a year and so many people helped her on her journey. They send her books and even translated them for her. I am in deep awe of this project, I love it. My reading is a little broader than hers in the beginning but I often recognise that I really don’t know anything at all. The more you learn, the less you know. When people ask me what I like to read I tend to answer: Everything.

I love crime novels, poetry and fiction, sometimes young adult literature. I love novels about interesting people, about class and race and feminism. It is hard, though, to get these topics right.

Reading Bad Feminism, I realised that there are some deep flaws with some books I really like. I never thought about these! She raises questions that I never answered to myself. It hit me at first and I thought that her influence on my reading choices is frightening. It is good, though. Making me think about what I read and especially How I read is essential to a broader experience. Asking the uncomfortable questions means that I am not blindly accepting anything that I find in my books as true. That I’m seeking other sources, other books to confirm or contradict what I have read.

How I have read for many many years has contributed to what Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie names “The Danger of the Single Story”. I would not encounter other realities. I would not appreciate different tales of people I have never listened to. Last summer, as I discovered Adichie’s writing, I painfully became aware of my narrow reading. I changed it. At least as much as I could. There is some truth in it that most English novels we can buy are from English-speaking countries. The book market is not focused on the writings of other countries. However, it is not true that we do not have access to these books. If we just scratched the surface a bit and were more open about our choices – we would be able to find these books!

Here’s a story: One of my favourite films – a very cheesy one – “The Bridges of Madison County” starring the brilliant Meryl Streep is based on a book by Robert James Waller. I have to admit that I only watched the film. Which I normally avoid doing.
As I looked through the English bookcase in my local library, I didn’t know which books to take with me. The shelf isn’t that big but the choice is hard nevertheless. Therefore I didn’t read the titles of the books I was putting into my bag. I simply let myself be surprised afterwards, what I would read. Examining my new reads at home, I found “A thousand country roads”, which sounded beautiful. Guess by whom it was? Robert James Waller. It was the epilogue to Bridges of Madison County in novel form. Apart from the fact that I didn’t enjoy the book that much in the end, it was a very pleasant surprise!

What do we learn from this?

Each time I’m in the library now, I’ll pick some random books out of the shelf. I will read them with an open mind. I will try to get books from as many countries and regions and historical backgrounds as possible. I will try to get more books from women authors.

I simply want to widen my perspective based on a thing that I do every day and that is a vital part of me and my knowledge about the world: Reading.

Another very interesting thought is comparative reading. You take two books about similar topics or eras and read them at the same time. You compare the differences in their story telling, which facts they leave out or which ones they stress on. How they develop their characters or dialogue or story line. It’s such a fascinating technique to get more out of your reading experience and to develop more thoughts on books in general. It counteracts the Single Story.

Here is what I would like you to do:

  • Read a book from a country you never read a book from.
  • Read a book about a topic that interests you but that you have never learned anything about. Or about a topic that makes you uncomfortable. Find out why it does!
  • Read a book about a person you find interesting. A person who you wish to have met.
  • Read a book and tell me about it. I’m so interested in your choices! What is your favourite read at the moment? What would you like me to read?

Last but not least, I would like to thank you for your support and your lovely messages over the past two weeks, it really means a lot to me. And it kept me going!

Current Word Count: 25532

NaNoWriMo Day 5: I’m a Fisherman Just Catching Leaves


It is only day five. My head is just a few centimetres above the water. I’m drowning in my own procrastination and self-doubts. I wrote heartfelt, passionate texts in the last two days. I wanted to create something equally as good. Some days, though, you just have to let it go. Let the rain wash all the words out of your head down onto the white page.

After a conversation with a friend, I was losing hope. I had done research on climate change in the previous days and was inspired. Eager to change something. But my voice is not loud enough, my actions not important enough. “We can’t stop the fate of this world so why should we try?” That’s a thing I hear so often. People feel helpless and lose their power, their energy.

“That’s exactly why we should do something! All of us! Now!” This voice inside me got fainter and fainter. Today I am numb. Looking out of the window, sipping on my cup of tea. Watching milky clouds go by. Trees shake in frosty air. Even my cat doesn’t want to be outside anymore. No passion is igniting me, no fire burning. I search for the little glowing pieces in the ashes of yesterday’s excitement.

I didn’t know that the writing despair could kick in that early. That it would be that hard this time. I fail at my own expectations. You cannot write a passionate essay every day. You cannot be the best version of yourself every day. You have to give yourself the permission to step back sometimes. Notice nature around. Write bad poems in the notes app of your mobile phone. My inspiration for this poem was a lonely fisherman with a single orange leaf on his fishing rod.

I’m sitting in a glass box
Watching times go by
I am a fisherman
Just catching leaves
Reflections on the river
Just pictures glued together
Chasing memories like winds

There is that line in the song “The Dangling Conversation” written by Paul Simon, that resonates with me: “Like a poem poorly written, we are verses out of rhythm.” We are out of shape but we are works of art anyway. We are made to keep going. To find solutions. To improve. You can only be a good writer if you read. You can also only be a decent author if you write. When you edit until you feel that every word is in place. That’s what I feel like with this song. It might seem random. It’s beauty is undeniable. The lines of this song are masterpieces.

“It’s a still-life watercolor
Of a now late afternoon
As the sun shines through the curtain lace
And shadows wash the room
And we sit and drink our coffee
Couched in our indifference
Like shells upon the shore
You can hear the ocean roar
In the dangling conversation
And the superficial sighs
The borders of our lives

And you read your Emily Dickinson
And I my Robert Frost
And we note our places with bookmarkers
That measure what we’ve lost
Like a poem poorly written
We are verses out of rhythm
Couplets out of rhyme
In syncopated time
And the dangling conversation
And the superficial sighs
Are the borders of our lives

Yes, we speak of things that matter
With words that must be said
“Can analysis be worthwhile?”
“Is the theatre really dead?”
And how the room is softly faded
And I only kiss your shadow
I cannot feel your hand
You’re a stranger now unto me
Lost in the dangling conversation
And the superficial sighs
In the borders of our lives”

It is one of my favourite songs at the moment. Maybe some Emily Dickinson could help with my writers block. Or another cup of tea.

I give myself the permission to write in thoughtlessness. To piece sentences together without a deeper meaning. To write truths without magic. To leave the sparks behind and follow my inner voice.

Art can be difficult sometimes. Especially if you fall into spirals of doubt. Many artists suffer from it. Every crack in your creation appears on your own skin. You find that the verses you wrote don’t hold truth anymore. You go on and discard the sentences that once described your life. Our words change with us. Sometimes we have to leave them behind. They get too small for our ideas. They cannot hold our ideals anymore, our dreams.

If you don’t have an aim anymore you will stop walking. I stop walking when a thought hits that I can’t cope with. The edges of my consciousness start to crumble. I step out of my skin just like a snake does. Walk around in breathlessness, in silence.

Autumn is my favourite season. The cups of tea and whispered words that layer themselves soft like leaves on frozen soil. People in woollen scarves and knitted hats. Wringing their hands to ban the cold. Dreaming of warm fires and songs muttered to licking flames. The gleaming lights of warm orange street lamps. The soft shades of roses late in the year. Smoking chimneys and the sweet taste of pumpkin soup. The warmth of the sun barely showing her face anymore. Yellow skies and racing clouds. Raindrops on the window. Autumn tastes like apples and plums and tea. Like cinnamon and oats and sweets. Autumn smells like earth and water, like fire and wind.

I love to spend rainy days inside with a book. Having a tea with friends. Looking out the window, talking about life. Sentences that will flow away with the current of time. Unfinished sentences. Laughter and thoughtful stirring. Chins rested on hands. Red lipstick and pattern dresses. Watching films and knitting jumpers. Watching leaves fall down, watching autumn go by.

I love the golden days when you absorb all the sunshine you can get. You breathe in the air that is so clear and yet so old. Saturated with colours and leaves. I love the little puddles rain creates. I love the light shining through mystic fog and the birds travelling to distant places.

I am in constant feat that I will miss out. That I will not live it to its full potential. I love to occupy myself. We often associate stress with unhappiness. However, when I recall the last years – the happiest have been when I did something productive. That’s the reason I invent new projects every day. There is a great video about it I watched today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tjMfTwZFY0

That’s also why I love NaNoWriMo. The creative little devils inside your mind are challenged. They are forced to come up with new ideas. Fingers put one word after another and glue them together in a never ending stream of questions: “Is this any good? Do I care? Who will read that? Anyone at all? Does it matter what I write or is it just some silly invention of my bored head?” It’s a project to write every day. To meet an arbitrary number. Accomplishing something. Growing. Changing. Getting better. And sometimes worse. That’s ok.

Self-doubt is a big part of living a creative life. We wouldn’t like to read books that haven’t been edited at all because their author was loving his own work too much. Writing is hard work. It’s endurance that distinguishes a published author from the occasional writer. Despite circumstances, despite rejections the writer keeps going. Word after word. For months, sometimes decades. I’m not a big believer in talent. I believe in practise. You can make a dreadful text into something of beauty if you work on it every day.

We often fail in creative work because we get no instant success. If I built a house, I will see how the bricks add on top of each other. I will see how the roof is built. I will paint the walls one at a time. In creative living, however, years can go by without any outcome whatsoever. You can fail and fail and fail. You can lose your hope. In the end, you will only succeed if you keep going. Adding bad days after good ones.

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed”. Ernest Hemingway.

I have bled today. I have written at the absolute bottom of what I can do. I’m exhausted and out of words. But they are on the page now. 1700 of them. I will keep going.

Current word count: 8830 Edited: 6552 (259)

On Creating.


Something that I had on my mind for a long time now: it is difficult to create art. Good art.

For weeks now I’ve been feeling that my mind is incredibly empty. I started some sketches and drawings and it was really hard for me to continue. I think about those days in summer when it was so easy, when I could work at night, have fun, create and love it. Those days, when I finished a little sketch in an hour and you liked it and it meant so much to me. It always does. Your support is amazing.

However, I feel I’m in a creative vacuum right now. Some reasons might be that I am a bit stressed out about uni. That I don’t know where to start. And maybe also, that I had to many projects in the last two months.

In November, I put 50 000 freaking words on the paper. In December, I painted or drew a picture every day. I created something every day. Looking back, I’m not entirely happy with the writing. It has no plot, only some scenes are quite nice… Also, the pictures I drew – there are some I like. And some, quite a few, I don’t.

People keep saying to me that it is important to love what you are doing. To pour your heart and soul into what you are doing. I didn’t do that. Not every day. I needed some rest. In the last days of the painting project I wanted to stop. I skipped one day. And someone told me, that they missed me uploading something for the day. I was angry and didn’t know why. It was me who had set the goal. Was I angry at myself?

I just asked myself: Do you want to continue? Do you want to do something today? Isn’t it more important, that you are happy with what you’re doing? That is why, one day, I didn’t draw anything at all. And it was good.

There are a few pictures I have in mind now, and there is a little short story I might write. It is incredibly hard to start, though. Start anything. Also, I have to write an essay for sociology. And another one and learn for maths and do all those things and aahhhhhh

Starting… the procrastination takes over my art process and I can’t escape.

Maybe you understand the state I’m currently in and maybe you can also give me some advice how to get out of it. How to create again. How to love what I’m doing again. How to make good art.

(If anyone of you knows Neil Gaiman’s speech on ‘Make good art’, it is so good! – but it doesn’t help me at the moment I guess… Just to explain the reference…)