The challenge continues but I’ve hit a roadblock already as I find myself struggling to believe I can write anything worthwhile and therefore not writing at all. After some success with writing over the last two years – finding a rhythm, managing to produce short pieces that people enjoyed, even getting them published on platforms other than my own little blog – I have grown a certain expectation of myself and my writing, and anything less just doesn’t feel good enough. However, I think I’m underestimating what it takes to return to writing after a break.
We got married this year. So, for the first few months, I lost myself in planning the big day (whilst juggling the day-to-day too of course) and then living that magical week leading up to it and the big day itself. Then there was a ‘mini-moon’, a ‘kiddie-moon’ and a luxury honeymoon (how lucky were we?). And already half the year was gone. Then life did that thing that it does and turned everything on its head and we went from joyful beginnings to unhappy endings. My father-in-law died following a short illness soon after our wedding. It was unexpected and devastating, and we found ourselves suddenly planning a funeral and dealing with all that comes with a bereavement. We are just returning to normality – slowly, and I know for my husband it will take much longer.
Now September brings a much needed Autumn and the promise of cosy, happy days. The children have returned to school and nursery, and today was the first day that I’ve given time to sit down to write, and it’s been miserable. I’m lost. It’s been over 8 months since I’ve written properly. I haven’t even been going to writing group in the last few months. I could cry at how hard it feels and I feel so desperate because I wanted this to be it – the thing I can do. A career even – or maybe just a creative outlet that would provide some sense of success. And I’ve lost it. I started this writing challenge and I don’t think I can actually do it. Everything I write is shit – although to be fair I’ve barely written a word.
Tue truth is I feel tired and weary – I don’t even want to write and yet my heart longs for this to be ‘it’. But if I don’t want to write – isn’t that a major flaw in my plan? I am sick of feeling a failure. I am sick of walking (or running) away from one thing after another. I don’t want to walk away from this too. Seriously, I feel like I have’t achieved anything worthwhile career-wise and yet I completed my first degree with first class honours and my MA with distinction. What the f-word? How can I be so miserably unqualified and unconfident when I was supposed to be the one who was heading for Artistic Director roles? I was the one who was set for great things?
I sat down to write tonight – to just write anything, whatever comes to mind – because I know I have to take steps to fix this. I know I can’t just magic it back into my fingers. I know things won’t write themselves. I have to do the work. I must return to ‘Morning Pages’ and also schedule time to ‘engage to write’ at another point in the day too, even just 15 minutes but EVERY DAY. These are the baby steps back to writing. And I need to schedule some Artistic Dates too – I need to fill my cup. I need to lift my energy to vibrate at a higher level, to lift my mood and to invite creativity and possibility back into my life. I know what I need to do, and it begins with an early night and acceptance that perhaps I can’t just leap straight into a writing challenge after time away. Maybe some people can, but I can’t and that’s okay. We all operate differently and with some kindness, perhaps I can nurture my artistic child back into the forefront of my days.
So, this is my response to Day Two and Three of the writing challenge – I tried to write a dialogue and a poem, and I failed. I wrote this instead.
At least I’m writing again and tomorrow is another day…