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?


  1. Hi Sarah! Another great post- thanks for being so honest. I also gave myself permission to take some time off, from writing and all forms of social media for a few weeks. (Still having a break but couldn't resist peeking at your blog!) You are so right- writing without validation is really tough. Sometimes we need to step away from the pressure we put on ourselves, to regroup and come back to writing fresh and hopefully, inspired. Keep going Sarah, the most important journeys are the toughest to travel ����

    1. Hi Amy! Thanks for stopping by. Writing is hard but so is the decision to take time off from it as I think writers put so much pressure on themselves at the best of times. Catch-22 but isn't that a writer's life anyway?! Getting back into it is slow but at least I'm still here, still pecking away at the keyboard. I hope you keep writing. It would be a shame to never know what could have been.

  2. Hi Sarah, the crows of doubt are circling far and wide at the moment, it seems, and stealing all joy in writing. Like you, I've also been taking time out to think 'Do I want to go on?' and finding it equally hard to sit at the keyboard now that autumn is here. But you have so much talent and, while conflicting feedback is confusing and discouraging, ultimately the key is to follow your heart and write the story that is true for you, so keep going! xx

    1. Hi Melissa. Sorry to hear that the crows of doubt have taken a fancy to you too. I've made a pact with myself that I'm going to write as if no-one is ever going to look at it. And I'll have to echo your words - keep going. You can do it. xx

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