A Storyteller Lost

As I restart my journey as a creative storyteller, I wanted to pen down the struggles that I have experienced getting back to this point...

Hi, I am Fatima! Storyteller & Aesthete • 

Hi, I am Fatima! Storyteller & Aesthete • 

Hi, I am Fatima! Storyteller & Aesthete • 

Hi, I am Fatima! Storyteller & Aesthete • 

Hi, I am Fatima! Storyteller & Aesthete • 

Fatima Zehra
A Storyteller Lost
April 19, 2024

As I settle down to write this entry of sorts, I want to first pen down how difficult it has been getting to this seemingly simple undertaking: to write. An act that has often come so naturally to me has now somehow become a grand obstacle, impossible to overcome.

Despite all that, here I am, trying yet again for the tenth time to pen my whirling thoughts into organized strings of sentences that hopefully make sense.

The difference this time?

I decided to start a newsletter to give myself an illusion of structure & responsibility.

Ahh! The things we must do…

Moving on!

A New Beginning from a Familiarized End

It may appear that I have been on an indefinite hiatus. One I have been fruitlessly trying to break out of- if you’ve been following me along for a minute you must have noticed- with utter failure. I’d make a post on Instagram, announcing my unretirement, only to disappear into the ethers yet again.

I did this various times till I finally convinced myself that I am done for good- clearly not since here we are!

While hopping in and out of this hiatus of sorts, I have been questioning a lot about the root of the issue and all that.

Am I done being a creative?

Do I have no art left inside of me?

Have I dried myself out of all of my creative juices?

Was my work a hoax? A limited series, performative piece of sorts that gave the illusion of artistic promise?

Was I even qualified to make claims of being a storyteller, a creator, a design?

It was a tireless loop I kept getting sucked into day in and day out. I’d tell myself I have better things to do like focusing on my career, i.e. one that makes me money, not one that makes me feel fulfilled. Or I’d convince myself that I never wanted to create in the first place. It was just boredom. A pass curiosity.

Regardless of my reasonings, the heavy cloud loomed over me, never allowing me to not think of the fact that I indeed have a lot of creativity inside of me that needs letting out but somehow I keep failing to free it. So evolved it did, into a thundery, roaring shroud of self-doubt & frustration.

But you know what?

As I write this, I have come to realize this hiatus, a self-struggle from hell is perhaps an important part of being a creative, of being human.

The Years that Ask Questions…

These past two years, hell, perhaps seven years have been progressive despite not seeming so.

The hours spent questioning without getting any answers. The frustration of not being able to make anything worthwhile. The dry spells of ideas. Trapped in a seemingly permanent state of creative drought.

All of this was part of the process.

Something about there being years that ask questions and years that answer…

While I haven’t received a thick parcel of the answers yet, I can feel the proverbial barriers being lifted. The shroud of clouds cracking up, giving way to little sunbeams to trickle through. My vision slowly calibrating and focusing on what’s in front of me.

The Curse of One

After spending years hopping from one creative role to another and failing to stick to one for more than a few months, I am finally starting to grasp what I am meant to do, to be.

In a loud, shouting world of coaches, gurus and experts telling you to be a certain way, to walk on a dedicated path, it can be a daunting task to find your authenticity. To niche down. To pick one. To know it all from the get go. All of which can quickly become the founding pillars of your self-constructed prison.

At least that’s what happened to me.

As a multi-passionate creative, I have often ricocheted from one medium to another. Photography, videography, design, writing, mixed media-I have tried and enjoyed it all. However, believing that I needed to pick one was often the biggest struggle of my creative career.

How do you pick one?

I often get bored with just one thing, which has often led me to abandon ship more times than I am willing to admit.

Am I a loser?

Is this ADHD?

Will I surmount to dust with nothing to show?

Again the looming thoughts engulfing me into a mouldy dread.

A Series of Fun Little Experiments

It is only now, after experiencing years that asked questions tirelessly that have I started to get a teeny tiny whiff of answers.

There is no one thing to pick.

My life- or in this particular case, career- doesn’t need to be made of one element or a particular route. It can indeed be a mishmash of fun little experiments that give you answers or at the very least, provide you with questions that lead you to better answers!

With every adventure I take, i.e, every creative project I work on, a conversation I have with a trusted friend or a little visit I pay to a foreign land, I often get mini (or sometimes, gigantic) doses of revelations that usually don’t make it outside of my brain and instead, turn to electric dust within me.

Hence, leaving me with more questions unanswered, solely because I refused to process them.

And that needs to change…

A New Journey as Old as Time

That is what this newsletter is about… unraveling the cryptic answers as they trickle in through the shrouds of murky clouds and making sense of them via my writings- for they are seldom revealed in their simple forms.

I am not gonna lie.

Launching this newsletter has come with conflicting emotions.

A part of me ecstatic, stoked at the prospects of dusting off my creative automobile and embarking on an exciting new adventure, ready to conquer it all. While another part is a little less optimistic and a whole lot more cynical: will this “adventure” lead me somewhere worthwhile or will I end up more lost than I am now?

To that, I have learned to say,

Let’s go find out!

Fancy a cup of tea? 🫖

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