I used to say that writing was my life – gasp! Is writing no longer my life? What? Is this true? Wait, let me explain. In actual fact my family is my life, of course, family first is our motto. But writing, writing has been my all-consuming passion (yes it’s a cliché) for as long as I have been able to write. Sometimes that writing didn’t make it onto a page, but it went on all the time, stories continually rolling in my mind. Sometimes it was almost as if a character took over inside my head and I would be with them struggling with all their challenges, working out what they would do, replaying their speech and actions. It possibly sounds a little crazy, and quite often my family tease me about the people in my head!
I began this by ‘I used to say that writing was my life’… does this mean it is no longer true? Well, thankfully, that is not the case but it almost was from spring last year up until this last month. For fifteen months I really began to fear that my other self, my writing self had somehow disappeared, evaporated or melted away. Yes, I was still writing and still writing here, although my blogs dropped in frequency, and horror of horrors, sometimes a day went past without one! I was re-posting more, rewriting old blogs, dragging thoughts out of my brain and onto the keyboard, every word a struggle. I continued to write for my different writing groups but again, it was a battle, as if there was a disconnect between my foggy brain and my fingers. And I plodded on with my seemingly never-ending next novel. I was in such a bad writing state that for the first time in six years I did not enter or complete the National Novel Writing Month challenge – and boy did I miss it, but just couldn’t even attempt it!!
So, why? I have no idea. All was well at home, me and my family happy and healthy, my different groups meeting regularly and with much fun and enjoyment, I went away for weekends to meet friends, we had the family holiday, we had the family Christmas party, we had weddings, I went on not one but two writing retreats with my dear writing friends. My husband and I had our usual days out and trip-ettes, we went to the pub, and other pubs, his band had several great gigs. We went to the pub quiz every week, and also another pub quiz occasionally. Daughter and son were both happy and busy. We acquired a dog and started doing lots of lovely walks, short and long.
Life last year and the first half of this year (recent events notwithstanding) has been great, happy and fulfilled and fun – except for the writing malfunction! I cannot ascribe any reason to it, and can only explain it by saying I had an empty head. I seemed bereft of ideas, the people in my head went on a long vacation, those who remained lounged around not saying or doing much, sleeping mostly…
To be honest, I really began to think for whatever reason, my writing genie had deserted me. I was plodding on editing my novel which I’d eventually finished, words coming out harder than pulling teeth. In fact, a couple of years ago I did have to have my first ever tooth extraction, and it was a lot easier and very much less painful. Keeping on the tooth subject, I had gritted my mental teeth and got my novel finished and had begun the painstaking task of removing excess words and editing, polishing up the characters and plot.
I think the return of my mojo came first of all through the short stories I wrote for my writing groups. I did a couple that I was quite pleased with. My novel began to come under my proper control and I really began to knock its flabby form into shape. Ideas for my next novel firmed up, I’ve begun to write more ‘proper’ blogs, and the keyboard is now my friend again.
It’s as if a switch has been thrown and I’m back to normal. Busy doing as many of the other things as is possible in this weird world, but back writing at every opportunity, The writing part of me has woken from its slumber and is energised and perky and it’s quite exciting!! I’m so glad I kept plodding on, I’m so glad I didn’t give up on trying to write, because it’s all back now. The people in my head are as busy as ever!