Tuesday, 5 September 2017

When the Joy Goes

Writing without recognition or at least some kind of validation is hard. It’s difficult to stay motivated, to keep spending those hours in front of the laptop and to keep pouring out those emotions.

Having received conflicting feedback from several sources to the same draft novel, the lure to walk away has been strong. I'm frequently guilty of overthinking my stories and doubting my writing ability. 

Questions arise, most often when I’m lying in bed about to drop off to sleep. How long should I keep going? How long should I keep trying? Should I keep going?

Several times I’ve considered simply packing up and concentrating on my family and the farm. Then the summer holidays arrived and this summer was particularly poignant as it marked the end of my daughter’s primary education.

So I did the unthinkable and gave myself permission to take some time off.

Not writing for a few days usually makes me a bit twitchy and to consciously decide to put the pen down and not turn on the laptop for several weeks was scary. Would I be able to write again? Would I want to? And if I did, would I have lost the ability I’d cultivated? A bit like taking time off from exercise, I suppose, and losing fitness.

But then school rolls around and new term begins and as turns out, a rest can be good. Back to school, back to work.

The crows of doubt may currently be perched on top of my laptop cawing at the number of times I’m using the delete button, but I’m still here and I’m still writing. I’m still being courageous. 

Does the joy of writing ever desert you and if so, what do you find helps?