Why I Stopped Writing

New Years reflections

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.


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