I TOOK A HIATUS FROM WRITING.


I took A PERSONAL HIATUS.
618 days.
That’s how long I spent away from my own blog.

I couldn’t believe it myself. Its apparently been that long…

My Hiatus from Devious Words


Now, that isn’t to say I haven’t written at all in over two years. In truth, my hiatus only applied on this blog, while my writing schedule became busier and hectic soon after.

Somewhere in late 2020 I joined an awesome group of sports writers and creators on @edfsports and @edfwrestling to write articles about one of my favourite things; Wrestling.

I have learned a lot about writing since joining; about SEO’s, about the technicalities of professional writing and about the ways of getting traction for articles. Whether I can use them for myself, I will see but it has been and continues to be a great experience . I also learned a lot about myself, and what I are able to achieve as a writer and a person in general.

But at the time, like many, many other creatives, I was in a bad mental space. I was dealing with personal baggage – by myself, alongside dealing with the new normal of quarantine.

It was hellish. So to cope, I started working out and doing yoga at home. And right when I was finding it hard to think of creative things to write about, they came along and sorta ended my hiatus from writing. To an extent at least…


I think there was a Lack of motivation on my part


Honestly, I didn’t have the time, and I wasn’t motivated to put words to paper for MY OWN creative reasons. I got used to writing as directed and stopped caring about writing for myself.

I technically didn’t write a poem until October this year. Meaning aside writing wrestling articles I stopped putting my thoughts in poem. I stopped writing them.

I sort of settled into autopilot mode with writing, and poetry seemed out of place for a while. I kind of felt like I had outgrown it and I didn’t feel those urges to wake up and suddenly write anything in verse.

In fact, when I looked back at my creative process I realized I mostly only wrote about my pain in my poems.

That realization made me assume that my inability to write meant I had nothing to feel sad about. Nothing I could really classify as pain was affecting me; I was on autopilot, remember. So it seemed a likely conclusion that my creative muse was dead.


I saw a light ahead of me and felt a sense of satisfaction


That’s how I rationalized it in my head at the time. And then I mentally shrugged, moved on and kept working. I mean, I was busy working out. I was challenging my body and trying routines and yoga poses that seemed difficult at some point in them, and getting a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when I managed them. I was staying healthy and writing articles, so I put it out of my mind.

Now I feel like Everything has come crashing down again … Sort of …


But for the last couple of months I have been having this mental crises, if I can call it that. I feel a bit lost and empty again. The things that were bringing me joy now make me feel sluggish.

My level of productivity is down a bit, but that isn’t to say I’m being lazy. On the contrary, a day doesn’t go by where I don’t have something I am supposed to be doing. Whether its school work (I’ll graduate soon), writing for @edfwrestling, my internship and my school volunteering, I barely have time for myself to rest and have fun.

But I feel less productive, and I can’t really figure out why. It could be mental and physical fatigue. And I admit that only because 5 minutes into a normal routine I was doing today my body was simply said NO to me.

I managed to finish the routine; a low impact one mind you, but I was uncomfortable throughout. I have been working with these routines; and doing certain stuff in a specific order to make things simple and efficient for me for the last 618 days, then today my body just says NO, and it suddenly feels wrong.


Ok. That’s interesting. So why am I back?


I didn’t come back just because I now have something to write about.

I didn’t feel right that I was away for so long. And I want to do this again. I want to write again.

This was a space for me to improve my writing when I started. And then I wanted to grow this space and earn money here. But life and Covid happened and I got lost in the shuffle.

Today I realized I had lost myself a bit and forgot why I created this account. I wanted to document my experiences that are of benefit to people. In a way that I didn’t get. I wanted advice and answers and didn’t know where to turn back then.

I wrote poems so those who could relate would comment and we’d learn something from each other but I didn’t stick to it.

While my body has suddenly gone on hiatus without me my mind is still active and seeking answers to why I feel this way. And I would love to find people sharing their own experiences so I learn from them. But I can also share mine and we can interact and learn. That’s what this space is for; That’s why WordPress exists.

So… I guess I’m back.


What’s Next?


Meh… A name change FIRST. I want to personalize this space a bit. Then who knows.

Letters to my younger selves…


WHAT THE HECK DO I MEAN?

Yeah, I need to write and send my younger selves letters.

No, I don’t mean there is more than one me. And no, I am not looking into meeting every younger version of me from different timelines and dimensions.

What I want to do is give a letter to myself at three important times in my life. Significant events happened when I was 7, 14 and 21 years old that I really wish I could address.

I wish I had an adult then, or someone who could speak to me and give me words of encouragement … when I needed them the most.

I won’t mention COVID. HECK NO. That’s a no no in time travel rules.

SO, THIS LETTER THING, WHAT AM I DOING?

So that’s what I am doing. I am doing all that for me … for the catharsis of it.

I’ve gained some sage wisdom and lots of experience that serves me well at my age. And I do wish I could tell myself … “hey, you messed up but you’ve gotten better at these things. You should feel good”.
So, even though its cliché and I know my younger selves will never get these letters (I mean, I would know…) I just “wonder what would happen if I got them…”, you know

HERE GOES

FIRST LETTER

Dear 7 year old me

Hey bud. How’re you doing? You’ve been through a lot, huh?

You’ve had a Big operation, spent so much time in a hospital and haven’t seen most of your friends and family except mom and dad in months. That’s a lot to deal with.

But you are really brave, and you’ve been a champ so far.

So tell you what, you keep being a champ for me and I promise, we will be champs when you get older? Cool.

I’ll be seeing you soon. Take Care, Reggie, and don’t be afraid to make friends.

And to speak. Remember, you’re a champ.

Reggie

That felt heavy. Lets keep going.

SECOND LETTER

Dear 14 year old me

Yo, bud. We need to talk.

Look, I understand you have a lot on your mind. But you cant keep doing this to yourself. Its more than you are used to; being a teenager is hard already and it sucks.

We have been through stuff no kid should have to go through. We haven’t had time to just be kids. I don’t think we learn how to let loose and be free till after we are 18. My fault.

And we have all that baggage from the operation we went through, so we are at that time when we needed to be handled with care. It meant we didn’t get to just play and have fun. We always needed supervision, and that meant we had to behave like adults even at our age for too long.

To make matters worse, Mom and dad work all the time and we obviously miss seeing them. That is starting to mess with us.

And we don’t have friends. We know about sex and cant talk to anyone about it. That sucks.

Gosh, we had a lot going on in our heads and we dealt with all of that in a 14 year old body, by ourselves…

But you should know, you will have a lot of fun stuff going on for you. Lol, I honestly can’t convince you to see the positive side to how you’re feeling, but I can tell you; all this stuff in your mind, they make us a really cool adult…

You’re going to get a girlfriend in three years, she liked Linkin park after you got her to listen, and it made her understand how we feel the… that’s going to be big, so look forward to it.

P.S, You, my boy, are going to be awesome. In 2021, Being a 26 year old introvert is awesome, by the way.

LOVE,

Reggie.

THIRD LETTER

This one is tricky, because this is at a time where I mess up big time.

I feel blue all of a sudden …

Well, here goes…

Dear 21 year old me

We fuck up big time, don’t we?

Hey bud, I’m writing at the time where we are at our most careless, most conflicted and most overly dependent.

I didn’t want to worry our younger selves that much. Back then what we needed was encouragement. You, I can tell off.

What the fuck? All the chances we let pass us by. Girlfriends, opportunities, friendships. We mess up bad. I don’t want to be too hard on us but I am going to be, because even though we are going through a lot, we – you, make things worse for us by my age. We let ourselves go; physically and mentally. Our potential, our interests and all our desires, we just ignored all of that and did whatever just happened to come up.

We become really smart, but really lazy and pessimistic. We wait till the last minute to get things done and even though we still manage to get by smoothly, that starts to get to our head and we end up failing when it matters to us the most. Honestly, We are about to experience our greatest failure because of that attitude. We fail ourselves.

I don’t know what I want to say to you exactly; all I know is that you need talking to. Honestly, you decide to give up on life. You decide that life isn’t worth living and you decide that whatever wants to happen can happen, even if it’s part. At some point, we will even play with the thought of ending things but we are scared to do so. I really am glad we were because I can talk to you now.

But seriously, you take our habit of pessimism to new heights and ruin a lot of our friendships and relationships with it. You don’t take care of yourself, even though you want to. You join bad company, who use and abuse us and our trust and faith in them. For the next two years, in order to get friends we just let people’s opinions and whims control us. That messes us up later.

But its not all bad. We do some cool stuff, go to cool places and meet cool people. We get to join a group of peers who we will always relate to and perform on a stage (SAVOR THAT MOMENT, because that will become a big part of our lives).

I have to end this here, not because I want to, but because I have to. For the next three years we are going to enter a bad period of our life. It wont end by the time I am writing this because I still live through the consequences of that life we messed up.

But we have gotten better at it. We have taken the reigns now and we are living better. I mean, you have broader shoulders now, dude.

Lol

But it could have been better if you, if we, had been better.

All I can say is, I’m sorry. Because I am to blame. But I will make things better. I have to. That’s what makes us different now. We try to live. And its beautiful

Reggie

Here they are. I hope they do something for me.

Thank you for reading

Me didn’t matter…

I lost sight of what was important,
Gave too many cents about people,
Who didn’t understand My pain.
I made theirs important.
It wasn’t About me!
They needed me!
So I put me aside
And agreed.
It was not about me.
It is never about me.
It was about how YOU,
made me feel.
How my pain would disappear
As yours seemed pressing.
So I gave my all;
To you,
You,
And You over there.
And now I am over here.
I made your pain my own
while my pain was alone.
It’s still not about me,
And why should it be?
When should I matter?
When did I even matter?
While your pain was gauging
How much you mattered,
Or didn’t matter, to things that did
Matter to you.
I was never a part of them.
My pain never mattered.
Yours meant so much more
And the sadist in me liked it.
I inflicted pain that wasn’t mine
Onto myself, and decided I cared.
I decided to Understand,
how much the world
Was ignoring your pain.
Because I fed off of it.
And that was blind.
And that is love.
And now I have no love.
From You,
And You,
And You over there.

How Journalists compose their News

One of the most difficult things any journalist must be able to do is write a full blown story about a news item within a deadline. It seems simple enough; tell everyone what you know about a particular piece of information you have on paper, and do it in not more than five paragraphs at most on time. At the very least a journalist who is adept at writing in any language and has a vivid imagination could put down five paragraphs in a couple of minutes, yes?

Not exactly. You see, when writing a journalists has some basic yet tedious parameters to maneuver around. In the academic space they call these the Five W’s and One H. If you’ve not come across them then you’re cool but if you’ve had to do any form of academic research, or research that is investigative in nature you’ve at least heard this thrown about often enough. They are simply the words WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY AND HOW.

When a journalist is writing those five or more paragraphs, depending on the medium they’re using (normal print news, an online blog or editorial) they have to know and briefly but efficiently mention:

  • Who an event has happened to or is about?
  • What happened and might happen?
  • Where it happened?
  • When it happened and might happen
  • Why it happened?
  • How it happened?

It is simple enough to follow but requires in-depth knowledge relating to each point. You can’t write a story about someone when you don’t have a name at the very least, and you can’t write about a place or what anyone is doing there when you have no address. You simply can’t write an event when you don’t even know what’s going on, why it’s happening and even how it came to be. Its impossible, unless you put the time in to et te facts then sit down to compose your brief, yet in-depth news story.

These are very important to the journalist; if you’re not following them you’re writing a fictional piece which makes you a fiction writer, which is very cool, but not a news piece which is what a journalist is supposed to do.

The Journalist’s main function

Journalists are tasked with performing numerous functions within the public space for the sake of the society as a whole. These functions when done well make for a good journalist and ensures that the society in which they exist is democratic, liberal and free.

Now a journalist’s main function is to inform; it is the one function that matters more in journalism since the act of informing the public permeates all other functions they perform. They are gathering information; but whether they are performing record keeping functions, setting an agenda for what to discuss and whether that information they are discussing is on a government scandal, business stocks or the information is regarding a local city or another country, the main function of the every journalist is TO INFORM.

A good journalist will gather facts and write on subjects to communicate to the public any and all information in an official way and that is the role they play in the public space.

The Journalistic Profession

People today have doubts about the credibility of journalism when it is described as a profession. Scholars have sought to point out the mistakes that are made in the practice of journalism within the public space by those who have been given the responsibility of performing its functions to the benefit of the public they serve.

Now the word profession has several definitions as a synonym for occupation, which is any typically full-time activity defined in part by an easily recognizable body of knowledge, skill, and judgment or “discipline” by which one can earn a living. In recent years the standard of journalisms, journalists and media houses have come under fire because of the misplaced priorities of the current generation of holding the fort. With the commercialization of media houses profit making has taken over as the main function of journalism today. Journalists have taken to entertaining citizens instead of protecting their interests and wellbeing. Entertainment stories, click bait and tabloid sensationalism has come back with a vengeance from before, and is dominating the scene. These now serve as the matters of public interest since the media has trained citizens to not care about issues of reality and essence such as government and health issues.

A person of interest, named Brain McNairy, described a  journalist as an individual who is engaged in the activity of gathering, processing and disseminating information. To narrow it down to the specifics a journalist is an individual who is tasked with finding well sourced news worthy materials concerning the society at large and informing the society about itself, in all its diversity.

Journalists are tasked with serving the public interests of the citizens; and Public interest is simply anything that matters to every individual in the society. The interests of the public are the common good, security and their general welfare and is responsible for detecting and exposing crime and serious impropriety as well as protecting the public from being misled by an action or statement of an individual or organization.

The ideologies of the current generation has negatively affected the two primary functions of the journalist at the moment. Journalists are no longer concerned with the fact checking and fact reporting that dominated the rules of proper Journalism before the start of the twenty first century. Journalists and their media houses have fallen into the habit of promoting sensationalism within their headlines, a abit tat proper journalism oped to combat. Journalists are supposed to perform their main purpose, which is simply to inform citizens with the facts regarding the society they live in as a whole. Doing this brings about an understanding of the state of affairs of the society and helps the citizens formulate opinions and self over themselves. Yet this task has fallen down the way side and been overtaken by the need to promote any story, whether factual or otherwise in an effort to stir emotions and bring in sales.

The performance of their watchdog role has also been jeopardized as media houses are now the spokespeople or individuals and organizations whose field of work clashes with the public interests of people.  Journalists have stopped caring about this role and have jeopardized the stability of democracy as well as freedom of their citizens by siding with politicians, rebel leaders, dictators and autocrats as well as capitalists organizations that often threaten the legitimacy of democracy in order to make profit. Our watch dogs are now hiding their deceit, misleading the citizens and promoting their self-interests.

How can journalists perform their role in serving the public interest? Journalists should provide citizens with information to form their own opinions and allow the citizens depend on them to perform a watchdog role in the society. They must simply report the truth, while maintaining an unbiased opinion in order to promote democracy. By doing this the journalist is serving the interest of the public and promoting the reality of a safe fully functional society.

 

A Journalist’s Duty

The journalistic practice, which involves the gathering and dissemination of news to an audience, can be thankful to a lot of journalistic authorities for how far the profession as come from its base beginnings. Now I’m stressing on some points I have learned about the profession about ow in 1923, the American Society of Newspaper Editors adopted an ethical code known as the Canons of Journalism to tackle sensationalism in newspapers at the time. There are seven of them of course, for those who are curious to know about the practice; namely Responsibility, Freedom of the press, Independence, Sincerity, truthfulness, accuracy, Impartiality, Fair play, and Decency. I want to create the briefest of dialogues on the first cannon; responsibility, which I personally feel is the most important of the seven.

The Cambridge dictionary defines responsibility as something that it is your job or duty to deal with. To have responsibility is to be in a position to make certain that particular things are done. Journalists have a bunch of responsibilities while performing their functions. It is their responsibility to report and inform but to do so in a way that protects the welfare of their audience. From its beginnings information was used to hype and promote to the masses; with only a vast minority who were literate caring for news that informed and sought to educate them on the happenings of the world. Journalists then were not often held responsible for what they printed and reported often printing stories of wonder and mystique about gossip, attractions and slander in order to make quick money and build their reputation as information peddlers; but in 2019 a journalist’s credibility depends very much on his ability to look out for the wellbeing of his audience. A journalist must report te news in a way that does not cause arm or distress to an audience. It must accurate, it must be released at the right and it even should be taken down or held back if IT DOES NOT serve the public’s interest.

It is important to point out that journalists are at liberty to say, publish and print anything they feel is newsworthy in the press, but it comes with a caveat. Journalists must maintain a level of responsibility for the news they bring to light, making sure they have their audience’s wellbeing in mind, in order to keep the trust of the public.

 

The Benefit of Acknowledging Imperfection.

We have been trained, rather wrongly, to see ourselves as protagonists of our own fate. We create the fantasy that we are weary travelers of a journey we should overcome with ease. We believe fate owes our faith moments of brilliance; where everything is solved with minimal effort on our part. And finally we believe we are the good guys in the story that is our life.

It is an unfortunate but the fact that we have consciousness means we develop an egocentric sense of self that becomes unhealthy as we age. We nurture it around a belief system; give it aims and ideals to follow and enter a battle of wills with the rest of society, trying to prove its worth.

That in itself is not a bad thing but we forget that we are not perfect. We live trying to create moments of brilliance around us; we talk about accomplishments, we adore the praise of others and show off as proof of our great strength. We value the idea that we are master and hero of our story and mould that into inflated, righteous egos. We decide that we are special and thus we are perfect.

What we should do is identify our imperfections and build our lives around correcting them. It is important to acknowledge our moments of failure as much as we do for our brilliant moments. We learn from everything we do. And when our bad moments arise we learn particularly from the criticisms, from our bad choices and from the consequences.

Those who put aside their insecurities, selfish ideals and self-righteous, narcissistic tendencies are closer to perfection. They look directly at their faults and frailties in order to conquer them. They acknowledge where they are lacking in order to improve. And they understand that they are just normal people; that they aren’t special. They just live, improving themselves every day, defending what they know with passion and taking their defeats sportingly and in good faith. They learn from the mistakes of those defeats and move on determined to do better.

Musings #1

It can be hard for most people, especially the open, conscientious types, to understand how depending on dogmatic belief systems can work out for the good of society. Everyone around them has unique beliefs, and is determined to stick to the idea of having never changing viewpoints, yet those same people make the claim that anyone who disagrees with their own views is simply dogmatic and closed minded.

It is to be expected; when we don’t take the time to acknowledge that we all might have been raised to believe in numerous, unique yet fundamental absolutes, and that we don’t know how to make concise, well thought out arguments to support those absolutes, we eventually take another’s opposing viewpoints on issues and beliefs we are invested in, completely out of context, and take very real offense with them. When our views on particular issues shape our very existence especially, it is hard to watch them crumble easily in an argument. And it is even harder to see any individual, who is dismantling and aggressively stamping on those viewpoints we hold so dear to our Hearts, get plaudits for, in our minds, being so very wrong so very effectively.

Sadly most people will never examine the reason behind why they get so flustered, and are prone to anger in times when their viewpoints are being challenged. They will instead feel justified to continue making arguments in a destructive manner.
But such is the way of life. Our task always has been and will certainly always be to learn and continuously shape our views. They can’t be constant and unflinching in an ever changing and incredibly fickle world that seeks to re-examine every viewpoint for benefit of human beings as a whole. It makes for better arguments, it makes for a better way of living and it helps us understand eachother. That is infinitely more preferable than throwing barbs and leaving our tempers unchecked.

The Point of Our Mistakes.

Making mistakes is a normal part of being alive, not something we should be rid of. We might have taken the time to count our every step, gone over the details of our schedules and routines time and time again, and forced our minds to accept a single path as what fate, careful planning and hard work has bestowed upon us, but that isn’t always the case. In spite of our best laid plans, we end up making the occasional blunder, or two or two dozen, that ruins everything. And we cannot be pleased with our mistakes; we don’t wish for them, and we especially don’t handle them very well – but all the same, we will end up making them. It is to some benefit then, that with the right kind of mindset, we eventually come to the realisation that there are two important things we notice after making enough mistakes; That life doesn’t pan out exactly the way we want it, and, That we can only get better after learning from our mistakes. They are the price of success.

We don’t realize that the effect of our mistakes matter; it is from their consequences that we learn about ourselves and those around us. We are unaware of this and feel that being perfect, having no faults, and making zero number of mistakes is the best way of life. We refuse to accept that it is way better to accept that there is always a possibility that we might, either forget where we placed that dime to add to our dollar, or even lose our personal journal and the two week’s worth of writing ideas in them at sometime. We can’t avoid them, even when try, and shouldn’t feel the need to wish we had never made them. And we certainly shouldn’t fixate on the mistakes and deem ourselves completely worthless after. No, What we should be doing is acknowledging those exact feelings we go through after our mistakes in order to deal with them in an appropriate manner. After realising that we are prone to moments of absentmindedness and complacency, it is very necessary that we brace ourselves for the periods of regret and rebuke that follow. We should let go of our preset disposition to simply expect mainly sympathy for our plight, and stop ourselves from hating the hurtful comments as well as those people lamenting about our errors. Their words might actually hold some truth, if only we are willing to consider them. We also shouldn’t let the shame we feel for our carelessness break our resolve, but infact accept the guilt, rebuke and criticism; they play in increasing our success and survival in the future. It is only when we allow ourselves to experience them, and consider what exactly to do about them that we will eventually mature and get better at not repeating them.

It is important to know the true essence of the mistakes we make in our daily lives. Without them, we would’t be wiser; We wouldn’t be vigilant of our environment or even conscious of our mental and physical well being. Our senses would be dull, and we would be naïve to some of our inadequacies. Without the occasional mistakes, our minds wouldn’t be sharp. Without properly acknowledging our fear of them, as well as the feelings they leave us with, we would simply become complacent. And it is in that state of complacency that we are vulnerable when life decides to test our resolve. It is then that we make mistakes. Fortunately for us, it is after making them that we also learn from them.