I don’t know what to write.

A year ago, I used to blog about writing.

I write about writing because it helps me sort through my mindset at the time, my insecurities about my journey as a writer, but also because…well, stringing words together in any form reminds me that I AM a writer, even when I’m not actively working on a novel project.

The truth is, I haven’t been writing in months (outside of the journal I keep for sanity purposes).

It’s not because I don’t have any good ideas either. I’m sitting on four novel ideas that felt so huge to me at one point in time, in varying states of drafted/edited/planned out.

And it’s not really because I haven’t had time. Sure, I just finished my first semester of grad school (that’s another post entirely). Yes, this spring semester has been absolutely crazy and I’ve been settling into a new routine amidst a global pandemic. But I could’ve squeezed in a few hours a week, and I’ve already proven that all I need is 10-12 hours a week to write effectively.

No, I haven’t been writing because I haven’t felt that drive to write that usually keeps me going.

For me, writing takes a lot of momentum. It’s like trying to ride a bike on the hardest possible gear: once you get going, you don’t notice the difficulty… it’s when you stop for a while that you realize how much work this thing really takes.

It’s been six months since I “finished” NaNoWriMo. Six months in which I’ve thought a lot about that story I worked on in November, but also about the other stories I’ve tabled throughout the last, oh, decade of my life. I wonder a lot where I went wrong, and it really comes down to the fact that most of the time I hate what I’ve written when I read it after the fact.

I’ve gone back to school for a master’s in something that isn’t even writing, or literature. I’m 1/4 of the way through a graduate degree in secondary education, that thing I always said I would NEVER DO. I have, in some respects, given up on my goal of just struggling along as a writer until I get published; I’m pursuing a Real Career for the first time in my adult life.

And I just turned 30.

So I guess I’m writing this post because I need to work on some self-forgiveness.

Deciding to become a teacher doesn’t mean I’m no longer a writer. I think in stories, I read stories, and I know eventually I’ll get back to writing them too. Just because I have a 2-month break between semesters doesn’t mean I have to bang out an entire novel in order to prove I haven’t given up on writing.

As for the fact that I can’t decide which story to write at the moment…maybe that just means that I’m still bursting full of potential, even though I’m not a 20-something anymore. The well doesn’t just dry up because I’ve been distracted for half a year. If anything, the well is maybe growing deeper now that I’m not clinging to it so desperately.


If you’ve read to the end of this post, you’re a true friend. Thank you for reading, and I’d love to know your thoughts! If you’re a writer, do you ever struggle between what project to work on? Do you battle against self-doubt on a daily basis? Let me know how things have been for you in the comments. Until next time,

Author: christine @ lady gets lit

writer // barista // education grad student // depression warrior // nasty woman who reads

2 thoughts on “I don’t know what to write.”

  1. Oh this is such a relatable post, Christine. I have periods of time where I’m not writing, I didn’t write for YEARS before, MONTHS later on and WEEKS sometimes, and… every single time, self doubt creeps in and I wonder if I’m a writer or not, if everything I write just doesn’t sit well with me and therefore is worthless…. it’s hard.
    I think it’s so important to forgive yourself for these moments where you haven’t been writing and to trust yourself to come back to it when you feel ready, when the spark somehow comes back to you. You’re not giving up anything, you’re giving yourself some time and that’s important, too ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Marie! Writing can be such an isolating experience that it’s easy to forget that I’m not alone, that other writers go through similar periods, that I will get through this. Which is why I get so much relief from writing about my writing… once it’s out there, it feels less overwhelming, and very often there’s at least one other person who understands how I feel.

      Sometimes I think I put so much pressure on myself because I’m buying into the capitalistic idea that I’m only as worthy as I am productive…so if I’m not producing something that can be consumed, I feel like I’m failing. Which is…not a good headspace for creativity, by any means.

      Anyway, thank you so much for the support and solidarity! I can’t express how much it means to me 💕💕💕

      Like

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