It’s quite one thing to put aside writing for awhile due to writer’s block. Sometimes an author must close the laptop and disconnect from the story just to gain perspective. However, it’s especially painful when one must set his/her writing aside for other priorities or simply because one can no longer make writing a priority.
As writers we think of our stories as our children. We tend to them, nurture them, and pray they grow and reach their full potential. But unlike real children, stories can be put upon the shelf and taken down again when the timing is more convenient.
Over the last few months I found myself pulled in what felt like a million directions. Tried giving 100% to all and ended up giving each area of my life less than a fraction instead. Instead of succeeding in all aspects, I failed…miserably.
What suffered? Everything. Everyone, including myself.
Since October of last year, I had one chapter left to write in my trilogy. ONE. But with all the craziness of life, my creativity went out the window and all inspiration for that last chapter evaporated.
Finally tapped out the last chapter just recently. Brief moment of joy…very brief.
During the non-writing time, I devoted myself to reviewing and critiquing other writers’ works on an online community of writers who work solely to help each other make their writing better. For awhile, this was enough for me. Had to be. There was no time for any real writing. If I were someone who could write a bit here and a bit there, but that’s not the style I work well with. So reviewing others’ works was my new go-to for the creative need in my life. Eventually, it became a chore, a job, and something else I had to stress over. For awhile, I didn’t mind. I loved helping, until I realized that my stress levels were rising and even though I may have had good intentions, I was no longer helping anyone anymore.
Spreading oneself thin is something we do everyday. Life is a crazy circus and we all have our balls up in the air, juggling them desperately to avoid dropping one. But what happens when one ball does drop? The rhythm is thrown off and ALL the balls fall leaving the juggler with nothing but empty air.
So what does one do?
Something has to give.
And something finally gave out.
To backtrack just a minute, let me explain something about me as a person. I get pushed and pushed a lot. And generally, I take it until…something small makes me snap. Seriously, I can put up with all sorts of b.s. and high levels of stress for months and then the littlest thing will set me off and I will shut it all down.
Sadly, that moment happened last night. Something small. Should’ve had thicker skin for sure, but every ounce of stress and aggravation from all corners of my life rushed in at that exact second and I shut it all down.
Now there are things I can’t shut down, like my family (wouldn’t want to), caring for my elderly mom, planning my oldest kid’s graduation and college prep, etc., etc., etc., so it all came down to eliminating one thing – my writing, more specifically, my writing community.
Hopefully, this is momentary and one day I can resume writing my own works, but I can no longer keep up with my obligations to my writer friends. For that I am deeply sorry, but to tell the truth…I’m also a bit relieved. What had once been enjoyable had become stressful and a chore because I had too many balls in the air. Nothing to do with the group. They were wonderful. Just they had to fall last on my list of priorities.
My writer friends were not getting my best (who am I kidding, no one was getting my best), and I had long since stopped even posting new material for them to critique. I hadn’t written anything new in ages. Writing was no longer my “job.” It had dropped to something I’d like to do, but didn’t have time for.
That’s not being a writer.
One day I will write again…I hope. There are still tons of story ideas in my head, but until I can dedicate myself to writing, without my brain consumed with my zillion To Do lists, really…what’s the point?
So sadly, this is farewell for now, hopefully not forever.
God bless. and thank you for following me for this short time.