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The process (6th October, 2017)

The ideas don't come quickly. When they don't, every website, every Twitter feed, every incomplete draft saved is visited again. When all else fails, previous blog posts are revisited, hoping to create a continuation, a spin-off, a new miniseries - anything.

And finally, the idea manifests. The fingers on the keyboard work faster and faster - a machine is whirred into action. The research turns into words. The words then become sentences, and those sentences flow. A blog post is created, then edited, formatted and tagged. The golden button that converts drafts into blog entries is clicked.

But that machine never shuts down. Every day, once again, an idea, a thought, a passing observation hums it to life again.

That machine, that process, is, to put it mildly, highly flawed. Sometimes the ideas that gear the machine itself don't come by easily. Sometimes the imagination that oils the machine takes time to work. Sometimes the energy that stirs the machine to life feels manual and labored.

Yesterday, a cog was missing. Had I published something yesterday, it would have been the 193rd consecutive day that I wouldn't have failed.

But I didn't. And so the date "5th October, 2017" shall be etched in The Hall of Shame. I failed because of me. As every second ticked towards the 10 o'clock mark I could feel myself becoming more and more frustrated. That feeling of helplessness is painful, because it means that a routine has been destroyed.

The process has failed.

Besides the lack of ideas, there are many reasons why the process can fail. Most of the times, it's time and energy.

But sometimes the missing medicine is a demon. A demon that questions existence, that thinks "who cares". Who cares about researching and "digging deep" for another little known story in Spanish football. Who cares about a club that's failing, or the player who made it to professional football despite the odds, or of the various beautiful idiosyncrasies of Spanish football at a local and national level.

And other times, that missing cog is one of sheer frustration at a lead going nowhere.

Where no one looks is where the true story lies. The shame is not that these stories are not covered - the shame is that other stories - the one that are already ubiquitous - are. Looking for those stories often means looking deeper at obscurity. Staring it in the face - and often finding nothing. A trail here, a road there - but nothing. And then, after yelling at the empty trains of thought that no one sees or listens to, if you focus at just the right time, at just the right moment, with everything you have, the doors of the train open up for just a momentary second. For just a second, a ray of light enters.

And yet, after all that energy and effort and time and desire focused on a single door, and often nothing opened up. Nothing. There is futility in both the effort and the lack of it.

But there is validity in the pursuit. Achievements may be futile, but the pursuit of it is the fight, the struggle, the tension that life is, of which ignorance is a futility in itself. Which is why those demons will be kept at bay.

And they were, for 192 days.

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