I love to write, always have. I wrote my first “book” back in 7th grade. How I treasured creating the story. I continued to write poetry and lyrics as an angsty teen. The process was my refuge. Fast forward to the 90’s as a stay-at-home Mom, I had my first poem published in Lady Bug magazine. I’ll never forget seeing my byline. Pure joy sprinkled with a bit of pride. The best part? I was compensated for doing something I loved. That was when I knew writing and I were meant for each other.
Since writing my first story back in 7th grade, I have written thousands of articles, many have been published. I’ve written four books, two for consumer, and two industry focused business books. I wrote a health and fitness column for years. I could write all day long and never tire of it. I love the process of taking what’s in my head and putting it on paper, (or in Word!). There were times when I was so focused on my writing, I had no clue what I was writing until I went back and read it! My thoughts just flowed. Writing has always come easy to me, that is until the pandemic hit.
This past year I’ve suffered from writers block. I’ve never had it before. I’ve read about it, but never experienced it. When I was regularly writing my blog or creating content for a magazine or newspaper column, words came easily to me. I was never short on ideas. I believed that my abundance of creative juices was a gift. However, it all came to an halt in 2020. I wrote a few pieces in 2020, but it was like walking through cement. I didn’t enjoy the process, which is crazy to me. I cannot explain it. All I can say is, my creative juices dried up.
Someone recently suggested, “Maybe there’s been so much happening this past year, your mind is overwhelmed. Try to start with one thing, and that might get you back on track.” I knew it was well-meaning advice, however, I remained stalled, uninspired.
Then last week I read the following quote by Anne Lamott. I kept going back to it, reading it over and over again, “Try to write in a directly emotional way, instead of being too subtle or oblique. Don’t be afraid of your material or your past. Be afraid of wasting any more time obsessing about how you look and how people see you. Be afraid of not getting your writing done”. And there it was. Be afraid of NOT getting your writing done. I love writing, I always have. I decided I needed to stop analyzing, and just write.
Truth is, writing has been my long-standing best friend. A few disagreements here and there, but for the most part, mutually rewarding. As a pre-teen writing saved my life. As a young adult, it provided an outlet. As a young mother, it gave me confidence. As a professional, it gave me a platform. As a woman, it is my therapy and joy. Writing feeds my soul, it’s always there for me. Writing fully engages my heart, mind and soul. Perhaps my heart, mind and soul needed a break from writing. Or maybe they were simply exhausted by all that was going on in the world. Perhaps my friend was on to something when he suggested there are too many feelings, thoughts, stories which likely paralyzed me. I can’t say why, and I’m no longer going to try and figure it out. I’m just going to write.
Is there something that you love that you haven’t pursued? Get to it. Don’t allow life to move on without you.
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the best of it.