From the Ashes   Leave a comment


The thing about fire is that sometimes, the destruction reveals a clarity about the relevant and irrelevant, and the heat ignites a passion to rise from the ashes.


Recently, I lost about 6 years worth of writing on a flash drive from my previous computer.* My first thought was that I can’t believe I wasn’t more careful, and my second thought was that I had so many plots and shorts and essays written on that, my blog history, my works in progress, my character files….the only stories I have left are stories that I have sent to people, and often I only sent the best or finished parts and not the backbones. The daunting endeavor of rewriting each plot, each character bio carried with it a sliver of fear that I can never perfectly recreate them, and that maybe I’ve can’t even write that well anymore.

What a fitting Segway into something that’s been on my mind recently. This constant feeling of inadequacy. In the last several weeks, I’ve been…not quite clear-minded. The same discipline and excitement that used to wake me up at 6 or 7 each morning has worn down; over the last several days in particular, I nestle in the warmth of bed until nearly noon. I sleep very much, yet have hardly as much energy as I ought to. Right now, I have open on Chrome, two TV shows, with unfinished episodes, because somehow I don’t really feel like finishing them and mindlessly oscillate between the two, six or seven job applications that have been open for two weeks as I put off the maybe one hour job of updating my resume, a bunch of Java guides, Facebook, Expedia because I’ve been putting off booking my ticket to college because my mother wants to make sure I fly with someone else but all the people flying from the area frickin haven’t gotten back to me and just keep saying they will (for the last three weeks), Pandora Radio, two email accounts, and a list of deadlines for college forms etc. In fact, just now, I paused my writing to go book my flight. I’ve been distracted; I can’t stay on one task for more than maybe five minutes. I managed to wake up at 8:30 this morning, a close to acceptable time, and (it’s noon now) I’ve accomplished next to nothing. The first thing on my to-do list this morning was to get this off my head, and literally after writing for a couple seconds I’ll go fiddle with the radio or go through my plans again.

I’m not being unproductive because there are other things I want to be doing, I’m being unproductive because I can’t motivate myself. Even writing, I’ve had to force myself to sit down and finish this, because every time I look at this piece, I ponder for a couple seconds and think it’s too hard to go through all my thoughts. It’s much easier to read articles that aren’t even interesting and to surf the web. My to-do list has been pushed back day after day, and I both hate my listless state and lack motivation to dig myself out of it. This summer was supposed to be a glorious time, of friends, and learning new things that I’ve wanted to tackle for a while, like Java, Spanish, hip-hop, and get back to writing, a time to mentally prepare for the new challenges ahead of me. And I feel inadequate because I am not being the person I want to be, and I know it.

As is typical with me, I turn to writing to find myself again. There is no separation between my soul and my words; writing draws me back to an innate earnestness. Loss is scary because I’m afraid I can never write that alive again, because I think I’ll never keep improving, because your footing slips. The funny thing about it is that loss forces you to confront what is most important to you, and because you have to accept the loss, it forces you to confront the possibilities of how to repair the damage. Maybe it’s the utter fatefulness and irreversible consequences of loss that catalyze a surprising resilience to grow. Or maybe, in the face of despair (or desperation), the  fears that stop me from tackling projects and taking risks are dwarfed.


with renewed inspiration and love,



*I later found that I had copied most of my creative writing folder on to my current computer. Though I still lost 90% of the files stored on my drive, I am immensely thankful to have found the most valuable 10%.



Posted June 20, 2014 by aderyngrace in Uncategorized

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