Greetings and Salutations, Blog Readers.
It has been a while. A long while. A huge pause. When last I blogged I think I was trying to get through the The Last of Us episode Recaps I was blogging about. I lost the steam halfway through. Not because the show wasn’t wonderful, or that I stopped watching, because neither of those is true. I simply…stopped.
The motivation, the inspiration, the desire to continue to write, dried up and died. I couldn’t muster the energy for blogging, for creative writing, hell, I could barely make myself journal, and I would only do it sporadically.
I wrote this first bit like…Monday? Then I got busy with work, and got super sick, and now it is Friday, I am on the mend, and here we are, trying to write the blog about how I haven’t been writing.
So, many questions surround why I haven’t been writing. Is it a lack of inspiration? A lack of story ideas? A lack of material to cover in fictional or blog form?
Nah, nothing that complicated. I have plenty of stories bouncing around this head, and while I don’t have the massive list of blog ideas I usually have, I do have most of the episodes from The Last of Us I could cover, a few recipes I could post, a few thoughts on skin care, plenty of apocalyptic prepping ideas… plenty of ideas I could blog about, and even more story ideas, short and long form.
I have been in a bit of funk, one I am calling a “Functional Depression Spell”- I call it this because I have still been doing the things, working out (most of the time), eating, working, going to bed on time, etc etc…I have been doing all the things I should do, but have no motivation or drive to do things I enjoy, like writing.
I went on a trip to see friends in the St. Louis area for a friend’s birthday, and that did get some of the slump gone, but then I came back to the chaos of work, and then got sick…And here we are.
Nothing really explains the lack of writing other than depression and trying to just keep going, and nothing explains the depression other than good ole chemical imbalances in my head. But I am trying to at least make sure I do the things I want and need to do.
But still, writing has been a challenge, and has been not even on the backburner, hell it hasn’t even been on the stove. I did a quick short story, which, true to my style, made me want to make a longer story, and before long, another story idea came to mind, and I have tossed around the idea of writing about that as well…And yet here I am, barely chugging through this blog post, and not working on any story ideas at all.
It is all too easy to blame work, with me having taken on a new position, (Project Controls Coordinator – and I LOVE IT) but, blaming work is easy. Does work keep me busy and normally too tired to do writing? Yes.
Am I capable adult who can rework her availability and find a better solution? Yes. I had originally planned on getting up earlier to work out and write, and instead I work out and get to work.
I can get up earlier, but while 4:30 is doable, 4:00 AM gets trickier, and even then, it is a challenge to work out and do cardio every morning.
But I could do cardio some days, work outs other days, and write.
I make the excuse that it’s hard to stop writing when I start, and that a stolen half hour or hour in the morning isn’t enough writing, but…it just feels like an excuse.
Truth is, writing thirty minutes in the morning, maybe another thirty minutes to an hour on my lunch break, is better than the nothing I have been doing. Why am I not writing?
I finally invested time into learning a good writing process, how to truly map a story, how to make a compelling story by conventional standards – and as soon as I start mapping out start middle and end, including climatic action and all the hit points… the desire to write falls dead out of the sky.
I know the steps, I know the facts, but the desire and urge to write has not been there.
But I know I need to. I don’t want to be sitting here with characters in my head eager to have their stories told…and me sitting here denying them that ability to live on the page.
Is it a fear of success? Maybe, but truth be told I doubt I would see conventional success with my random weird stories anyways.
Is it fear of hard work? All the hard work that goes into being a self employed writer? My time as a 1099 employee has taught me how hard the business side of things can be, imaghine if I didn’t have a paycheck every week? Sure, I learned during my year plus of unemployment that I am still willing to sit down and work for 8-12 hours a day, I would write, film/edit videos, work on marketing materials for people…a paycheck doesn’t motivate the work, I know I can do it.
Is it fear of having to create, work, do all the editing, marketing, etc and of course paying people to do the things I can not do…Sure those are all scary things, but, it doesn’t seem like the answer. Again, I have no problem working, and I know the steps that need to be taken to be successful (again, not that I would be successful per se, but, to do the thing, as it were).
Whatever the real root reason is, depression, fear of success, fear of work, lack of time…These are all just reasons I can throw at a situation.
The fact is: I haven’t been writing.
I SHOULD be writing. I love to write. I love my stories. I don’t care if anyone else does, I do. Writing is me putting the stories in my head onto the page because it seems weird to always just live in my head. There is no reason I can’t be a writer. I can write. Anyone can. (it may not be good or worth reading to others, but anyone CAN write)
It doesn’t matter if it is good, or if anyone wants it. I like to write for myself.
And maybe that is it? Has my depression been hitting my self worth so much that I no longer view writing for myself a worth goal? Man, that is deep, isn’t it?
And it’s also what we discussed in therapy, and it hurt my feelings.
But, it is a turning point. Because having an answer means having a path forward. A podcast I listened to this week talked about having a crush on things you wanted to do. She was discussing “having a crush” on her job, “having a crush” on working out, etc.
Maybe I need to…have a crush on myself?
This is something I worked on a lot during the lock down, when I was trying to get myself sorted and built back up, I focused on me, in a loving way, I worked on having a crush on myself. I had more free time, yes. I had no job, and no one to take care of but myself, but that is no excuse to let the relationship with myself, the crush on myself, fade.
The most important relationship in your life is the one you have with yourself. And I need to get back to that.
Here’s to that.
Thanks for reading,