So initially the holiday did exactly what I wanted, and got me writing in some way. It was a new story idea, set in the Lakes, where I just happened to be, so hardly surprising! But I managed to scribble whilst on a walk as well as in the evenings and in the car on the way home. I even bought a book for research purposes, becoming more invested in the idea. It was just so nice to feel inspired, which is just as I had hoped I would be. It may not yet be for a novel, but it’s a start. But then I came home, and as I was pulled back into the humdrum of work and normal life again, so my spark diminished. And that’s just what’s happened with all my story ideas recently.
There are moments when I just think about giving it all up, this writing malarkey. Go back to just enjoying reading for the sake of reading. I’m sure I could too, I managed before when I hadn’t really discovered writing, well properly anyway. And then I think of all that I’ve done and learnt over the last few years since I put pen to paper and think that maybe, just maybe, it would leave such a hole that I wouldn’t be able to fill. That however pressurised I find it, and that’s often my own doing, it really was the thing that was missing in my life. It’s a hard one and I don’t think there is a simple answer. Maybe I need to go back, to where I started, with poetry and short stories, and try and build my confidence back up that way. Maybe its just not meant to be and I just have to accept that.
I need to be so much kinder to myself. I had a message from an author friend when she asked how I was getting on and it really made me think, and know that I’m not alone, and I just need to share what she told me- that most writers probably struggle with confidence, but to enjoy what I’m writing and take pleasure in that as an end itself, that anything else is a bonus. And she’s right, and I’d lost that pleasure. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about myself and how I feel- about work, my writing, my worth. It sounds deep I know, but I felt it needed to happen. I feel so lost, with no sense of direction in anything and I really feel that its affected my state overall. I need space, to work out where I’m going next, in different aspects and so I’ve made a decision. I’m going to stop writing this blog. Maybe not forever, but certainly for a while. I want to completely take the pressure off, rediscover my love for the things I do. And unfortunately this outlet has become a sea of negativity for me more recently and its not helping. I’m not yet saying my journey as a writer is ending before its really even begun, but more that I don’t know where I am and I need to find that out. And that means stopping my log too, which is only fuelling my guilt at not writing enough at the moment. They have both had their positives and their place, and may well work for me again in the future, but I have to get there first. I want to continue and build on the idea of journaling, I still need to get into the habit of doing it but I think it will help to sort through my muddled head.
Am I still passionate about my story? Once yes, as with most of my ideas, but not at the moment and that’s where the problem lies. The fear and self-doubt as well as the daily grind of life has taken over and I feel like a light has gone out of me. I know I’m not quite ready to give up on it, but I need the space, the lack of pressure, to try and find again what excited me in the first place. And it will come, just not when I’m expecting it.
Believe in the stories you want to tell and don’t give up hope. Miranda Dickinson, you’ve done it again, thank you! I won’t give up hope, just keep looking for it. And since I’ve taken just a little pressure off, made my decision, there are little sparks creeping back in. The random ideas for stories, one line here, a short paragraph there as well as notes for a couple of works in progress (including my novel), so it was definitely the best thing for me to do now, and I will continue to hope, and see what happens. I still have my columns to write, and two or three new ideas playing around in my head, so I’m not giving up yet. Hopefully I’ll see you on the other side.