I have had a hard time dealing with blank pages. I have wonderful ideas, but then I get a pen and paper, or sit in front of my computer and… nothing. Not one idea flows. I would argue that in terms of “flow” Death Valley has more of a flowing river than I do when it comes to writing. At least at these moments. I feel grounded and frustrated.
The blank page. Nothing. I’ve come close to crying, and close to panic, because I’ve lost my touch and I’ve felt enormous pressure to get something- anything going.
It’s been eerily similar to my life outside of writing- if my mouth would not engage before my mind I would be in a better place. I’m emotionally driven half the time- and in the last few months I think the “ideas” have emerged a bit too prematurely. I’ve hurt people because I assumed too many things, or the timing was wrong, or I was (as one person put it) suffering from my own illusions. I was very much like Eeyore- a bit pessimistic, but trying to be somewhat positive. I couldn’t escape the feeling I was failing, and I was wondering what would make me work as a writer, what class, which person, whose quote. I couldn’t figure it out.
Everything it seemed, by the end of 2014, was drying up and dying- or I wasn’t feeling the groove. As a writer I had lost hope that I could get back on track and, as a person, I was slowly being pushed into a world I had worked so hard to avoid- a prison of my own making. Had anyone suggested I pull myself out of the place I was in, I would probably have said something to make it worse, and I’m sure I did. I was pushing myself as a writer, and by extending the limits of my own body- mentally, emotionally and physically, I was destroying my creativity. The lack of hope was effectively killing me- I was on very unstable ground, and all I could feel was hopelessness and lacking direction.
I had a few illusions still- one of them being to push forward in all aspects, but the only way I could save myself as a writer was to back off.
When I was told to take a break- and this happened more than eight times in two days- I was admittedly quite mad, which was possibly the only emotion other than despair I felt. I didn’t want to admit how bad things got- but people knew. No one likes to admit defeat and a change of plans, and you simply can’t always be strong for your team.
The writer, and person, in me didn’t want to take a break, I figured I could keep pushing, and trying and maybe I would make things better.
Thankfully, this time I listened.
Over the next four days after New Years, I went on a much needed break. I didn’t do anything social media wise, I didn’t spend time worrying about my blog or my writing. I did nothing. The ideas came and went, and I didn’t pick up a pen or even a paper. I had many invitations to go to various social events, but I politely declined most of them, save for one. My body, my mind and possibly my soul needed to just withdraw.
I’m not a person or a writer who withdraws. I want to fix things, make other people happy. If it means I hurt because of it, so be it. As a writer, even if it hurts, I fix it up. I have a forgiving editor, and one who deals with me on a fairly regular basis, and I often wonder why they put up with me, I’m a decent writer, but because of how my view of life was before my enforced break, I was incredibly lucky to be in one piece by the beginning of 2015.
I came close to losing everything due to my own stupidity. The question was not how far could I fall but if I was willing to take a chance and be destined to soar?
I admit, I was fearful. By the end of the year, my long time writing partner could no longer continue writing, so there were bigger shoes to fill. This blog seemed to be in a rut, and I had no clue where it might go. I was scared I couldn’t and I was more scared that I could.
Some people say inspiration happens when you least expect it, but need it the most.
My own inspiration comes from someone who has made me think of what is possible, and what might be. This is a man whom I find far more intelligent than I, and someone who is willing to put up with me, and tell me like it is. Without his help, I don’t believe I would be in a good a state as I am today. He is content to point me in the right direction, and to push me as a person and a writer. He’s known me for years, and he knows that if I’m not pushed correctly, it might not work out.
I’m certain he doesn’t see himself as an inspiration, but people have great power to push and find the spark a person has left and, if this is the case, he is an inspiration to me. It’s one thing to say a person is valuable to you, it’s another to say this person made an impact to the point you’re beginning to see you might be able to soar. The point here is that people are vital to making or breaking your writing.
At the very least, thanks to him, I’m in a much better place as a person and a writer, I want to write and to live a life full of meaning and joy. I don’t feel as if a blank page has as much power over me. I feel the beginning of the idea that I am destined to soar once again. It’s been a long time, and it takes one very honest person to do this. As a writer, I was stripped of a lot of illusions about publishing, and my own abilities. As a person it was much worse, he not only empathized but encouraged me with wisdom which comes from experience. I understood I could make people happy, but at a cost of my own health and happiness.
A writer has their own people they can count on. For some very lucky ones, this person does more for them than they could ever believe possible- and more than they can possibly thank.
Thanks to one determined man, who will always be a guiding light, I have hope I’ll be soaring as a person and writer soon. There is always hope there is a good ending, and a good way to live as a writer. It doesn’t need to be tomorrow, but the future is always something to dream about- and do.
Publishing a book will happen because there is a team of wonderful people who support me. Who challenge me, and encourage me to find a reason to keep on pushing for the best.