I have been procrastinating on getting started on this blog again for a few days now. I haven’t written anything at all for so much longer. 17 weeks to be exact. I don’t know how it happened, but somewhere along the line I just stopped writing. All I know is I have been in limbo since, waiting for something, anything, unsure exactly what but knowing I will recognise it when I see it. Unsurprisingly I haven’t been able to get myself to write anything. I should have known better.
A few weeks ago I turned 30 and so did the Mac. But I digress. The day itself was nothing like I had imagined it would be. Neither was I in a place in my life I had envisioned I would be. In my moments of reflection in the days and weeks after I have struggled to reconcile the person I know I can be with the cold reality of the person I actually am. In those moments I have even glanced across the digital fence that is Facebook . The grass on the other side is an amalgamation of engagement announcements, wedding and baby photos. My exes, friends and uni mates are all either getting engaged, already married or having kids (on purpose). They are doing all the grown up and responsible things I had imagined myself doing at this stage of my life.
Weirdly enough this does not leave me feeling green with envy. Rather it has made me question whether I actually wanting all of that? Eventually, I guess. All I know is that at this stage I am ok with not having all of that. On most days I enjoy my own company just fine. I am content with just doing me. But thing is I haven’t really been doing me. I still have the travel bug but I have not made any concrete plans in that regard. I find myself still wanting to take photography up more seriously, something that I have been putting off for years. And then there is the small matter of finishing that book. A small consolation is that I had actually started working on my writing, but then I stopped.
After not writing for so long I feel like I am back at square one. Once again I am a writer who doesn’t write. Only this time I am burdened with the guilt and regret of having failed. Getting over that carried over feeling of failure and inconsistency has been challenging. A big part of restarting again has been about letting go of the angst that goes along with writing. Or better yet channelling that angst into coherent sentences. In my moments of procrastination doubt has been the main protagonist. I have found myself starring at the blank page, my mind equally blank. I have berated myself for letting my pen fall asleep on the page for so long. I have wondered whether my time as a writer was just a brief dalliance with my muse that I was doomed to always be nostalgic about. Oh well better to be a has been than a never was right?
But that feels like I am giving up on myself and that’s actually harder to live with than not trying at all. So I go through the words I have written before and I am reminded myself that when I am writing consistently I am my favourite writer. That I can be nice with the pen.
If I do say so myself … If I do say so myself … If I do say so myself
For me, writing is a lot like exercise. When I’m writing consistently, and making progress toward my goals, I feel great. Then one day something upsets my routine and I tell myself to just let it slide for a day. The next day there is another acceptable reason for me to pass again. When I skip days or weeks I become grumpy and lethargic. Everything is terrible and I don’t know why. By the time I figure out that my lack of exercise is causing my terrible mood, I’ve usually reached the point where I’ve lost all motivation to write ever again.
The first days getting back into a routine are rough but necessary. The hardest and the most important challenge is getting over worrying about writing well, and just writing something. For the first week or so it’s not an exercise in skill, it’s just all about getting back into the habit of writing every day. Whether it be writing tweets, status updates, emails, ideas, random thoughts, whatever. Baby steps. Basically it’s just about doing anything and everything that makes you feel like you’re somehow attached to your passion.
For now I am doing just that and I know that as long as I continue to write consistently on any platform I will be my favourite writer once again.