I heard that if you hold your bladder before attending an important event, you will be more confident and perform your work better. I’m not sure if this is scientifically proven but I guess bladder control gives you a sense of urgency to finish the task. Sometimes the consequence can be rather embarrassing, like a high-profile government figure in South America (I can’t quite recall the video title but everyone at my old workplace was watching it) was literally peeing on his pants while giving a speech in public.
This memory suddenly came back to me, and since I’m a big believer in ‘everything happens for a reason’, there must be a reason. It has something to do with my writing.
I have been struggling with writing. I had a personal blog, which was more or less flooded with my feelings about little moments with certain people in life, things that made me feel melancholy, nostalgic, wistful, content, sad,… you name it. In short, it was a little mellow diary, except that no name mentioned, no activity documented, and no date attached. Like water, these feelings flow in no particular order. I wanted them to be that way, so when looking back, they have no constraints of time and place, past and present. In that sense, I had all the freedom to write down feelings I thought were impossible to convey in words. Or at least, I tried.
I was very active on that blog for more than two years. Then about six months ago - after my college graduation - I stopped. I lost my drive and inspiration. So I decided to take a break for a few weeks. It turned out to be a few months. Then the other day, I got an email which said congratulations, my blog turned three years old today. That fact didn’t slightly make me want to go back to it. It’s like raising a child and suddenly realizing he’s turned three years old, but all you want to do is abandon him. That makes me sound like a terrible and heartless parent.
Those months of no-writing were turbulent and full of difficulties, which in the past would be the perfect conditions for me to put pen to paper and write. But I wasn’t able to.
However, lately I have been trying to get back to writing because this is the only way I learn to connect with the world. I want to take it seriously. I want that throbbing excitement of feeling words flowing above my head, that careful preparation of having my pen and journal close wherever I go, that heated energy that keeps me awake and makes me crave for stories, adventures, inspirations, meanings.
With that determination in mind, I slowly learn my way back into writing. I aim to write 500 words a day. Most of them are broken sentences. To give you an example: “I date a smelly man. How on earth could that ever happen? What’s worse, over time I have grown to get accustomed to his smell, to a point that now if I detect another man’s strong odor, I immediately flinch and think that though mine smells bad, he definitely smells better.” Then I might go on talking about other random things such as: why do I always see men peeing on the street, but never women, or how much it would cost for companies who want to put their advertisement on an entire double-decker bus in London, and my desire to experience decorating a bus, and it goes on and on.
I get frustrated very easily and for someone who has the patience scored below zero, taking this challenge is no doubt a punishment. A punishment for abandoning my child. Nevertheless, it’s a necessary act that not only promises great struggles, but also the better. I need not to worry so much about the quality or the structure of my work. All I need to do is produce 500 words a day. Very often they don’t make senses, and I would have to edit them brutally. But at least ideas are able to come out, in form and shape, regardless of how ugly they might look. And that alone I believe is an improvement. So I keep on writing.
I also learn to find a pattern and put myself into a schedule. I often find myself most creative before I fall asleep. Thus, bedtime is the ideal time for my writing blood to flow. I usually try to finish the first drafts during night-time and edit them during daytime. Sometimes, alcohol helps, but very often I just doze off. However, the biggest secret I’ve found (and this might sound ridiculous!!), is to write before I have to pee. This connects to the little story I mentioned at the beginning. The longer I hold my bladder, the faster and smoother I write. This contradicts with my old way of writing, which I needed to get super comfortable: right temperature, right mood, right moment, right setting, etc. Now, I just need to drink a giant glass of water twenty minutes before I start writing, and I can pave my way into the process much easier. When I couldn’t hold it anymore, I would take a break and repeat the cycle.
Who would have thought that holding one’s urinary organ can increase one’s productivity? I can only think of urgency as the reason behind this strange relation. It puts me under pressure. It pushes me forward. It makes me become fully aware of myself. That sense of urgency triggers a feeling so strong it vibrates and dictates every single molecule in my body. It tells me that I have nothing to lose, so I might just pour everything I have into words.
Your bladder is like an alarm clock, and it works.
P.S: For some people bladder control can cause pressure, which leads to feeling of pleasure. You should give it a go.