“Whimp.” You hear the sound for the third time that afternoon. “Whimp.”
It’s nothing, you think. You get back to the task given to you by the manager: Create a bunch of X’s and check them against a list of Y’s. You have been asked to do this task every day for the past month, for different projects. You stretch your legs and reach for the packet of chips, eating not because you are hungry, but because your body desperately needs a distraction. You check your phone after an eternity of work.
(scroll) Your cousin’s engagement picture on facebook.
(scroll) Your best friend’s vacation picture in Thailand.
(scroll) Your former professor’s message about a writing position vacancy at a magazine for minimum wage.
“Whimp,” returns the sound.
You shrug off the message about the writing position and return to your task. You have many X’s and Y‘s to attend to.
Later that night, you get ready for bed. Laying on the warm mattress, eyes finally closed, you hear the sound again.
“Whimp”. This time, the sound is coming from your bookshelf. You need your sleep, so that you can tackle the X’s and Y’s efficiently at work the next morning. Sitting up, you decide to confront the voice.
“Whimp”. You walk closer to the bookshelf, your hand reaching the books. You follow the sound with your hands. “Whimp”. You flip past your childhood harry potter books, the ones that you stood in line for at the bookstore every year during sunrise, so that you could be one of the first kids to get a copy and spend all night reading. You flip past the ten books that you promised yourself you would read but never had the time to. You also flick away the brand new pens you bought on sale but never removed from their boxes. You finally reach the source of the noise and find yourself surprised – you have reached your old journal, the one you hadn’t written in for ten years..
You sit on the floor, flipping through the journal with tears in your eyes, from laughing at your former self for being so naive, but also from shame at the realization.
“Whimp”, cries the journal, the one that you wrote in when you were a fearless teenager, with hopes and dreams of becoming a writer one day. The journal is the very same one where you experimented with words, expressed your thoughts and fell in love with the written word – the very same one where you exposed yourself, your deepest desires and your fears. You were fearless. You were honest. You were a writer.
What the hell happened to you?
You close the journal and return to bed, inching the bed cover higher above your chest than usual, for extra shelter, mentally preparing yourself for next day’s 9-5.
“Whimp”, the sound continued all night.
I could have easily written the following: “I’m scared of following my passion for writing, the passion that I have ignored for a secure routine job. I am scared of the financial instability that I may face and have compromised my true happiness for money.”
Instead, I chose to show you a snippet of how I feel during my daily routine, using the art of storytelling. My number one writing advice is “show your audience”. They already know the moral of the story in the back of their minds; they’ve heard it many times! They want you, the writer, to express your senses to them and feed their imagination so that they could see your struggles, fears, and honest emotions. In return, the audience will empathize with you and let you know that they too have fears. We are all “whimps”.
Yosr El Sherbiny
Ever since I was old enough to express my imagination (and was introduced to the life-changing author Neil Gaiman), I have been writing stories. In addition to writing stories, I have been working in the architecture industry since 2013. My architecture professor always says, “a true architect knows a little bit about everything”, and I have made this my life’s mission.. to explore and learn a little bit about each creative industry.
I recently founded Wrichitects, a platform aimed at helping architects, designers, and everyday people to write about their projects from a creative storytelling point of view.
Feel free to contact me to learn more about Wrichitects, or to just say hi (and indulge in deep critical conversations on architecture).
Phone: +971 (50) 739 8602