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Alone in my mind, But Not Unique

A little about my writing process. If even someone as disorganised as me can write, ANYONE can!

By Mohammed DarasiPublished 7 months ago 7 min read
Alone in my mind, But Not Unique
Photo by Jason Strull on Unsplash

We humans are social creatures there is no denying. We enjoy the company of others whether we admit to it or not. Of course, the amount of time to spend with other people is a subjective choice, but we can’t help but want and need to connect.

I think human connection is vital, however, I’m definitely in the “leave me alone most of the time” camp. I love interacting with people and especially debating about interesting topics, but I do recognise in myself the need to be alone with my own thoughts. I can easily find anything interesting and think about it a little, which does entertain me to a certain extent.

I’m not sure if I was always like this, or if it started when I met a certain friend. This friend and I can sit and talk for literally hours (maybe 4-5 hours sitting in a café, until they kick us out). We talk about all kinds of things from science and pop culture, to random thoughts about human behaviour. Eventually, we even started a podcast together.

I’m honestly not entirely sure if I ever thought deeply about subjects before having these interesting conversations with this friend. Now I feel like I have these thoughts in my brain the capacity to think about them, but the thoughts only manifest when I need them to. This used to be the frequent conversations with this friend, but we haven’t had the chance to meet up in a long time. Now, these thoughts are surfacing in my writing, poetry in particular.

My poem writing “process”:

Often, I sit down to write a poem with no clear idea of what I want to write. For example, a recent poem I wrote, “What Is Your Best?” (here), was one I wrote for a vocal challenge. I was walking home from work and I thought of a rhyme to have in this poem:

Before you get corrupted

Emotionally disrupted and erupted

I suggest you stay calm and collected

I liked these few lines and really wanted them in the poem somewhere, so I wrote them quickly in a Word document on my phone so I could use them later. But I still didn’t have a concept of the poem yet. When I got home and after relaxing for a little bit, I sat on my computer and opened up the document with these lines (the beauty of OneDrive and cloud computing). I started up the poem with kind of a stereotypical phrase “Welcome visitor” and then tried to find something to end the sentence. “Slice of heaven” worked nicely, since it refers to both something good, and space (the “heavens”, and earth is within it).

I thought about the original lines I wrote and figured they would be a perfect turning point in the poem, so I had to present two sides. I think that is basically my MO now since I recently realised that I usually present two sides in poems (whatever the subject). You can call it the diplomatic approach, I guess.

The challenge was to talk about what would be the first thing you would introduce to an alien who visits Earth. At this point, I still didn’t have anything yet but I still continued on. When it comes to presenting two sides or elaborating on an idea, I usually go to my interests which are science and human behaviour (I just think they’re a wealth of ever-evolving knowledge and ideas). I then thought I could combine both and talk about the contradicting human behaviour within a scientific topic.

Out pops climate change and global warming. A perfect topic to present contradicting human behaviour. We need Earth, yet we’re killing it. We’re sad that it’s being damaged, but don’t stop what we’re doing. At the same time, general awareness about global warming has increased in recent years, so we are trying to do something at least. Those can be the two sides to the poem!

I sat and wrote this poem in just under an hour. I usually try to find words online that rhyme with others, I don’t want to mislead anyone about that. I don’t use it often, but it is a great way to refresh my mind when I draw a blank, otherwise, I would spend hours on each poem. Most of the words I end up using are ones I already know (like I had to search for a suitable word that rhymed with life because, for the life of me, I couldn’t think of a good one). Sometimes the words I find dictate the line, for example, the word “price” to loosely rhymes with “life” which gave me the idea for that line. Another example is when I wrote “To destroy our one home” and then I found the word “biome”, which means a large naturally occurring community of flora and fauna like a forest. This was perfect! And I love learning new words when I’m writing.

For the main element of the challenge, what I would introduce aliens to, was still elusive until I started writing the second perspective where humanity is trying to save earth. I thought about what we are doing to achieve that, and found that technology and innovation are at the heart of it… and also at the heart of the problem to begin with. That’s when it hit me. The reason that we can both create things that ruined the earth and think up things that could help save it... is our imagination.

Of course, it is an assumption that Imagination is something aliens don’t have, but where else but pop culture can we look up alien tendencies? They’re usually straightforward and logical creatures in movies and TV shows, so imagination might be a foreign idea to them.

The reason I wanted to write this article is because I have come across some people hesitant about writing, or about what they should write about. I’m not a professional writer or even one that did it for a long time (relatively), so I hope that my being able to write something shows you that you can do it as well, you just need to take the first step. In my opinion, I think the first step, regardless of what type of writer you want to be, is to find whatever you’re passionate about or interested in.

You can extract topics from unexpected places that may fit your interests. For example, I absolutely do not care, nor am I interested in the Kardashians. All I know is that they’re sisters and one of them is married to Kanye West (although I really hate that I know they’re divorced, or about to be divorced. A friend told me that). Despite not being interested in the Kardashians, I can focus on a certain aspect of their lives and talk about it from a human behaviour stance. “Why did they do this thing?”, “Why did they do it like this?”, “Why are people so influenced by celebrities” (This last one is actually interesting. Might write about it later). From something I have no interest in, I can extract topics interesting to me, and I’m sure you can do the same.

If you are worried about the actual writing process, just remember that you really don’t need to have a goal when you start writing. We all have thoughts that haven’t surfaced yet, and they might appear in your writing subconsciously if you just begin writing. If you don’t want to write a story or poem just yet, then at least write out an idea in bullet points. I wrote a poem just earlier today, but I thought of the concept yesterday and wrote it down. At the beginning, all I had was:

Aliens come to Earth expecting advanced civilization

The human they talk to brags about renewable energy, and how they’re close to a breakthrough with fusion

Alien elder laughs at how primitive humanity is. They are using dark matter to power vehicles. They haven’t used fusion in a few millennia

The elder asks his son why he brought them to this planet

The son turns to the human and asks “I received a signal for something called ‘full house. I know it was probably years ago that the signal was sent, but is it still going?”

I wanted to write a light-hearted poem, but this idea fits either a poem or a short story and I'm sure that applies to most writing ideas (you just need to be a little flexible). The final poem came out slightly different (I wanted the aliens to have come from our nearest star, and the signal for "Full House" would be too old so had to change the show. This little poem actually had me researching for a little bit).

I put the steps that help me when writing in a little graph, and I hope they can be of any use to you:

I’ve also read an article from a fellow vocal writer Alivia Varvel where she mentions that someone gave her great writing advice which is to let herself write something bad. It is an interesting and encouraging piece so I will link it below for you to check it out.

I do hope that this can be helpful in any way and wish you all the best in your writing.

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About the Creator

Mohammed Darasi

I write fiction, poetry and occasional articles about interesting topics. I recently created a website (just because) which I will be posting my writing in (among other things). it would be great if you check it out. https://mindpit.co.uk/

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (4)

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  • Donna Fox (HKB)7 months ago

    Mohammed, thank you for sharing your process! I find it so fascinating to look into other peoples thoughts/ minds and processes!! I like that you start with a general idea and let the story/ poem/ work guide you in the direction that it wants to go!

  • Yes, I read Alivia's article too and that's what my therapist told me to do as well. Write something bad and then fix it. Thank you for your chart thingy!

  • Really enjoyable read! Thank you for sharing this! I’m the same sometimes with poems… I have my phone notes filled with random one or two liners that come to me and later find a home, or I work a poem around… later when I return they either fall perfectly into a poem I’m writing or one just flows around them! Relaxing is indeed the key!

  • Jay Kantor7 months ago

    Ah, MD - Such a terrific 'Original' StoryTeller among the "Creative" New Ways To Write Writer's among us - So glad you're back at it at this stage with a huge career ahead. - No more "Walking to Work" for you - J

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