Confession time: in case you haven’t already guessed it from the lack of activity on here, I haven’t been much of a writer lately. Not just lately, actually – for a long time now, when I think back to this that I wrote in January 2022. I have scribbled a few ideas, lines, poems here and there but the proper stuff hasn’t been touched in ages. Why? Because… well, although I hate to say it, somewhere along the line, the joy has gone out of it. Or, given that writing’s gifts are inherent, the joy hasn’t gone anywhere. I have simply lost touch with it.
Why is that? There is no single reason. The blocks are many – some practical, some mental – but I won’t go into them here. (If you read the January 2022 poem referenced above, or are a writer yourself, you will know.) I will just touch on what I think the biggest block is: my unpublished novel. There are so many writing projects that I could be working on, but the thought that I should be sorting out the novel – editing it, finding an agent, submitting it for publication – before doing anything else has brought everything to a halt.
That ‘should’ weighs heavily – it feels criminal to chase other projects while a good book sits in a digital bottom drawer gathering virtual dust. Despite that feeling, however, despite that heavy ‘should’, the fact is that I am not doing anything with the novel right now. But, because it tops the to-do list and apparently can’t be moved due to some rule from somewhere that I seem to believe must never be broken about the order in which things should be done if one is to attain proper authordom status, I am not doing anything with any of my other projects either. So, nothing is progressing, and something’s got to give.
A friend of mine asked me the other day what I’m working on at the moment. I told her about this impasse and asked (i.e., internally begged) her to tell me what to write next. With my inner drive missing in action, having an assignment and deadline from someone else would help get me unstuck. She didn’t indulge me. Instead, she just stated that it doesn’t matter what I write next; she just likes having things to read. That’s her joy. And that hit home. Writing is my joy, but because I am letting the ’should’ stall me, I am missing out on it. Big time.
And what my friend said is true: it really doesn’t matter what I write next. It just matters that I write. And it matters that those words are read, because that is also a joy. But these joys are going to remain well out of my reach if (a) I don’t write and (b) I don’t put what I have written in a place where people can read it. Which brought me back here. Back to this place where I can share my words, where my friend and others can read them, and where I can read the work of other writers. This place where I can reconnect with this thing that brings me so much happiness and fulfilment, and (from what some readers have told me) gives something to others in return.
So, here’s what I am going to do. I am going to reconnect with one of my reasons for creating this website and start filling up this space for the fun of it. For the love of it. With pieces written in the past and those newly penned. Fact, fiction, fusion. Good, bad, ugly. Amateurish and accomplished, rustic and polished, light-hearted and profound. Picked at random. No particular theme. No rules. No ‘should’. Because it doesn’t matter what it is, why it was written, how worthy of publication it is, and so on. What matters is the writing and the reading and the joy.
Peace and blessings,