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,