The Life Lessons I Learn During Writer’s Block



The rule was to get out of bed for only two things: (1) things I have to do; and (2) things I love to do. Anything else, don’t bother. There are a number of reasons that push one to this course of action. First: one burns out – work, personal commitments, preposterous and pointless perfectionism, instances of misdirected energy. Second: one is let down – relationships, sponge cake that didn’t rise, late Amazon deliveries. Failed investments. Me: all the above.   

There is something magical about making a state of mind your goal, particularly so when that state of mind has many negative connotations. The feeling I had was that I was doing something for a purpose. And that feeling rendered my lack of care for many things guilt-free. It’s amazing.

In July, this blog was featured in Malaysia’s Harper Bazaar magazine. A two-page spread, involving 4 outfits (out of which only two made it to print) and 6 hours of intense make-up and photo-shooting – all orchestrated by a plucky crew who believed in me when I didn’t myself. What ensued for a couple of weeks were random episodes of pride, self-doubt and lots of soul-destroying Photoshop-ing to turn my ludicrous pictures and interview into a chic-esque, somewhat tasteful piece. Soul-destroying for them. Not me.


After the whole shebang, I disappeared – stopped blogging, took a step back from social media i.e. no mindless browsing as well as posting. Those life-sucking, youth-wasting habit. Sitting on the sofa sipping on somebody’s li(f)e. When someone’s not telling the truth, it’s frustrating. It seems like the more they are sharing, the more they are concealing. What is this? Trust me when I say you’d be much better off reading emails in Spam. At least that’s cleansing.

Family and friends said they are very proud of me. I should be, too, myself. But every now and then, especially after seeing a good exhibition or reading a good article, I knew something was off, decidedly off. Even uncanny.

I look back on what I wrote and I don’t like them. I used to just want to write, then I wanted to write something beautiful, moving, borderline informative. Now I want to write something gripping, unfamiliar and actually new.


When asked what’s next for AlexandraLuella, I told HB I’m in no hurry. I don’t want this blog to be action-packed and short-lived. I’ve just turned 25 last month, I can’t say I have figured out life but I know the best is yet to come. I feel empty sometimes, and so will AL. I want AL to grow alongside me.


Since I haven’t been able to write as well as I used to and as often as I would want to, it does get to me. The more I feel pressured to update, the harder it is to write. But I think the key is to be patient. Be patient with such discomfort and take all the time I need to work on my skills. Because I care about good writing. I really do.

People who blog often think a blog is their bedside drawer or back garden. So they write whatever they want because their domains, their rules. Like dogs that pee to mark their territories. It’s not right. Nobody likes dog pee. People are giving you their time to read what you write, you need to do them a service.

So, rather than taking the full advantage of HB’s feature, using it as a springboard to take this blog further, I decided to pat myself on the back and put it down as a happy ending to a chapter. The last thing I want is to churn out low-quality, expedient articles like a blog-bot. Have a bit of foresight and you’ll understand. At the end of the day, these things that you create are going to go further than you. They are going to have relationship with people you never know. Be smart. Do your future self a service.  


I learn that when I start feeling like a square peg in a round hole, it’s time to change. I am so annoyed when people romanticise change. This is a fucking methodical process. You take a piece of paper, write down whatever that ruffles your feathers and work out the best ways to improve the situation. Change. How sentimental can it get?

Everything is wrong when I couldn’t write. When that happened two months ago, it felt like I’ve lost my bearing. So I thought I would give writing a rest and divert my energy to something, anything that tickled my fancy. I was looking for something that could make me feel right. Like you know, creatively satisfied.


I moved home. Cut my hair. Paint. And returned to Beijing briefly for work. I also spend a lot of my time reading, discovering and experimenting with new style of writing. Sometimes, I also sing. It took me so long to realise I am a bad singer. Most of my Fridays are spent in the City, drinking and dancing into the night and waking up disgustingly early the next day to play tennis. I am not even good.  But these things soften my edges, because I love doing them. 100%. Slowly and gradually, I feel like the square peg is rounded to fit into the hole again.


Don’t flatter yourself. It’s not you, it’s this chummy thing.

Gaston Luga from Sweden was one of the companies that approached me some months ago. At that time, I was looking for a backpack because the £20 faux-leather satchel from Zara wasn’t doing a great job. That bloody useless drawstring. I needed something that can close the bag with a click.

And there it flew,Gaston Luga’s email down my chimney. I am not a backpack-trainer kind of girl but everyone needs a backpack like this – like a good boyfriend: makes a reliable companion, fuss-free, perfect for an adventure and actually holds your shit together.


A real sturdy stud. Eye-candy.

And clings onto you.

Because you’ve been such a babe, here’s a 15% promo code: alexandraluella

It’s free shipping for all. Hooray for readers who don’t reside in the EU, you also get a 20% tax rebate off the full price.

(And no,I don’t get a referral fee. So make your purchase in peace you selfish prick.)


I am not sure when exactly I’ll be back to regular blogging. But I’ve been working on a series of short articles about the people I met during my time in Beijing. Can’t reveal much yet but promise they are juicy. Till then,  savour this one. 

With love x

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