New Year and new goals, and back to the same old grind. You can’t be the hero or a new person, but you can be yourself, because it’s only one day.
Why I stopped writing- for a time. This might be the better blog post title, but I did in fact take pretty much all of the last year away from my writing. Did I miss it? Did it feel like there was something wrong with what I was doing or what I wanted in my life? Did I miss the art of putting words on to paper and editing? Simply put, no. I understand the feelings some might have. The habit of writing is always there. Some might argue it simply was a means to show me that I was not a “true writer” and that I was destined for something else.
I would argue that I am still a writer, but that to become a better writer I needed to walk away and learn about who I am as a person and as someone who has adventures or experiences to share. It’s not as easy as it looks. I simply did not write. I took myself away from something which was frustrating me which made me feel I could not push away from the blocks and the challenges. Writing was, and is fun. There’s nothing in my life that I enjoyed more than the flow of words to paper.
There are many reasons why I stopped writing.
My blog was too much: Yes it is a daily requirement to write a little something on my blog, but when I went back to older posts, it made me feel less. As writer I wasn’t proud of my work and I wasn’t happy with what I had produced. I felt worse, I found that even my last post on this blog was draining my positive feelings towards my writing.
My writing was forced: I can understand that writing a book is a challenge. I have written two of them, but I felt my hard work was just simply that- hard work. It’s not about money, rather for me it was about becoming a bit more known as a writer. Becoming part of a tribe, a possibly being accepted as a member of the writing clan. To that end I forced my writing. The goal of 1,000 words a day became the “goal” to get sit down in front of the computer. Or pick up a pen and write. I hated it. I hated myself and I was unwilling to find a new way to make it flow.
I was hitting a wall: Ever made a list of “reasons” why you stop something? I know we all have an I know that no one wants to admit that there is a reason behind it. Call me selfish but I was able to find out a lot about what I wanted in my writing career by walking away. I was hitting a wall because what I thought I wanted wasn’t that. The reason I gave to stop writing was based on what I thought I wanted which was- recognition. To gain that recognition I was pushing myself against a goal that everyone else would say was the thing I needed. The true reason I stopped writing was I needed time to mature as a person. To actually stop and shut up and learn. I wanted acceptance, but I didn’t want to take the time to learn.
I was exhausted: One can only live on caffeine and sugar for so long. I was putting a back seat to my health in my attempts to make everything look amazing. I didn’t have a clue what amazing to ME was. I could argue the whole “I asked the hive mind” but the truth was I didn’t ask for help in the sense that I wasn’t able to follow through on a plan. I didn’t have a plan, ergo, I ran myself to the point everything became too much. It’s similar to a word cloud on thing is the focus but there are countless other things that are in the background, which are “important” but really are not.
I wasn’t listening to the right people: My writing is something I did to build. At the point where I am it’s a hobby. It’s not a business, it’s an ever evolving beast. I’m in control of it, but if I push to fast I lose that control. It’s a great ego boost to hear “you’re probably making a lot of money on your books. Or you’re always working so hard. Or when will the next one be out? I was hearing from the wrong set of people. Writing isn’t a 9-5 job, and it isn’t easy when there are other commitments in a writer’s life. I listened to the people who don’t see the work that goes into writing.
I needed time away: There is a certain point when to become something better you need time away from something you once loved. I still love writing, the art of the wordsmith. I needed time away to refocus on what I needed. The extras in my life had become my focus, and as important as they were, they weren’t helping my growth as a writer and as a person. I’ve learned that this doesn’t make me less of a writer but it allows me the time I needed to clear away the challenges, and find exactly where I needed to be.
So why start now?
I think this is a valid question. Why should I start again? Maybe it’s to see what I am capable of, one more time. Maybe it’s to see if I have taken what I learned from my past year and put it out as a new set of goals. Maybe I am in a better place and am willing to see what comes from a better view on myself as a creative being and as the more reflective writer I hope I have become.