Following up my previous post about writing what you want to read (literally), here comes a fitting post about how, for all of last year (and quite a bit of the year before), I genuinely hated writing. The time I didn’t spend mulling over work I wasn’t enamored with, I spent questioning whether or not I wanted to continue pursuing a career as a writer. Most days last year, that answer was “no”.
I’ve thought on “why” for awhile. Looking to the internet and my friends, I heard a lot “just be more disciplined” and “make yourself do it”. It wasn’t that I wasn’t disciplined. I sat down, I wrote. Hell, I wrote two books last year. I was writing plenty. I just hated what I wrote.
I didn’t like the writing I was creating in part because it felt disingenuous. I can’t explain why that was only that every time I finished a project or even a page, I read it over and felt like someone else had written it.
After enduring my angst writing session after writing session, I eventually stopped writing practically altogether. That happened late last year. You can only bang your head against a wall so many times before you get a headache. And boy, did I give myself a headache.
For a little while, I even worked on the assumption that I was no longer going to write. Then, little by little, I came back to it until we come to where I am now when I’m in full swing.
I gave up and decided to whatever I wanted. Yeah, that simple.
I started writing some little personal things for myself that I never intended on publishing. I didn’t write them with the impression people would someday see them. They were just little stories that I just wished someone had written. I wrote those, then sat back and thoroughly enjoyed reading them. I began writing a lot of small things like that, keeping myself entertained and forgetting that I was putting in loads of work to do the entertaining.
Then, I accidentally took a full week off posting on my Instagram. And didn’t want to go back.
Classic me… When it comes to Instagram at least. In every other area of my life, I tend to beat a dead horse. I’m very thorough in my work.
Instead of pushing the Instagram hiatus aside and continuing to churn out the same content I typically do, I shrugged my shoulders, edited some pictures, slapped a quote on it, and felt right at home.
Sure, it wasn’t anything close to the content I have been creating for the past three years but it was a mature version of the stuff I posted during the first two years of owning my Instagram account. It was a grown-up version of the fun I had in the beginning. Immediately, I began snapping more pictures and thinking in pretty little sentences. It felt like coming home.
Popping back onto the grunge scene felt so right. As if I’d reclaimed a part of myself I tried to burn. What’s that they say? Demons never die? Something like that, I think.
And that was the last piece. It was fun again. I started thinking. My brain started working the way I liked it to. Everything inside me was churning and burning, but this time I was in control of the fire.
There’s a lesson here.
For years, absolute years, I fought myself on this. I went so far as to do things that placed me in a crowd that I didn’t jive with and couldn’t express myself. I pushed myself in so many directions I ended up having no clue what direction was authentic. Was extreme horror my style? Or was it romance? Fantasy? No, thriller? Nothing made sense to me anymore. Do I like pink dresses or chains, skirts or boots? Or both?
I had to go back and take small steps. Write for myself without the intention of showing anyone. Dress in clothes that you like during the day, when no one is around, that sort of idea. It’s been a long road, though I haven’t hardly noticed it, but it’s remarkably good to be back in a place that feels like home.