It seems like forever since I got lost beneath a sea of words, paragraphs flowing, ideas relentless.
Writers block: it’s the worst. I’ve had it for what seems like months now and it’s been weighing me down like a mental fatigue. It’s like, every time I have an idea I shy away from it, the lights are off; no one’s home.
Guilt eats at me with every blip. I have drafts sitting in my WordPress which I can’t seem to revisit. Why do I choose to write? Do I even still enjoy it, or am I determining “success” based on cultural appearances? Are my blogs a creative outlet, or simply used as evidence that I too, am consistent. That I too, have ambition.
That I too, am still here.
In a way, I miss being sad – like sad to the point that the only thing stopping my tears are words, released. When I’m sad, like really, really sad – I write my way out of sadness. And when I’m angry – feeling the need to protect myself – I hold up words like a shield or a sword et voila, a masterpiece is born….
….OK maybe not, but it’s definitely cathartic.
Seeing short stories I’ve poured my heart and soul into rejected time and time again bruised my ego and made me turn my nose up like, “Well, I never wanted you that much any way”. Maybe, my reason for not being able to write, is the product of an anticipated rejection.
Evidently, I care too much what people think. It’s as if I’m unconsciously following reported trends, only believing something looks good when everyone else is wearing it. Not feeling good enough in the eyes of the reader, a thought process which hinders not only my creative flow but plays out into everyday life.
I give thanks every day, for all the things that aren’t promised: my mother, family, friends, health, life; livelihood. In a way, this awakened gratitude provides yet another excuse to ditch the word flow. Often, my blogs are an inspired reaction to negative thought. Things I feel I have little control over suddenly seem clear once I’ve written them out.
I guess I haven’t felt inclined to process the heaviness – I’ve been enjoying a content cruise along nonchalance. Even though I still have the occasional daymare about something bad happening; an irrational fear that my headache is a brain tumor, a strong reaction to politics; a memory that no longer serves me: I’ve mostly been lapping up the good stuff. Friends, family, work and PARTIES. And it’s been helpful taking a break.
It’s easy to obsess over the past and future, despite wanting to stay present. I don’t want to think about friends who aren’t friends anymore, or what’s going to happen tomorrow, or what I think I could have done better. I want to just BE, and sometimes sharing my reflective stance prohibits that.
A friend suggested I write about how happy I am: everyone I love is OK, I have an awesome job, life is one big great adventure! Well – I can’t think of anything worse than boring my readers with a conceited prose of optimism. For starters, no one likes a show off (I have a deep-rooted “like me” complex) and furthermore, I want my words to be relatable – to talk about the feelings we share but don’t reveal.
Making the choice to write is difficult. It’s like setting yourself homework knowing that no-one’s around to mark the paper. I have to proof read my own work, so sometimes I don’t spot mistakes until months later and feel I’ve let myself down. Plus, once I have published something – I’d rather never read it again. It’s a bit like watching yourself being played back on camera – the whole experience can be nerve-wracking, demeaning.
Writing has been a loyal friend to me over the years. As a child, my mother was anti-television and so I had no choice but to create. My brother proved to be fantastic at drawing and can draw almost anything in intricate, precise detail.
I was 5 when I wrote my first rhyme.
6 when I wrote my first story.
7 when I started my first journal.
9 when I received my first publication (a poem, about autumn).
Aged 10, I wrote my first book “Angela”. I’d come home every day from school and go straight upstairs to write it. I didn’t care to eat, play, sleep. I was obsessed: a girl with a vision.
My mum found the book in a box of old junk and insisted that I read it. When I did, I was surprised. I realised I was a child who embraced emotion and had an outlet to process them. My mother asked if I felt proud and I really did. I’d spent my entire school life in my own world, I had few impactful teachers and was oblivious to my own depths.
I’m always consciously transparent in my writing which can leave me feeling open and exposed. That said, I guess it’s perfectly fine to take a break when I need it; to vacate from something I’ve been doing since I was able to hold a pen. Sometimes, the wounds we carry are still raw: before exposing the scars we need to let them heal.
I’m going to end this by questioning one more time, why do I choose to write? The answer is simple. I write, because I can.