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Sunday, 12 September 2010

Fresh Start




I've titled this blog post "Fresh Start" because I'm feeling terribly guilty that I have completely neglected writing anything on the blog for such a long time.

You might wonder what happened, well, writing wise I've kept going with the novel although after the Writing Industries Conference I noticed I had slowed down a lot, and I began to feel disillusioned about my writing life in general.
I don’t think the conference had any bearing on how I felt, looking back now, I think it was a coincidence that I’d opened my eyes, and looked around, seeing things in a different light.

My regular writing activities were changing. Things I did were leaving me feeling jaded, and I struggled to admit it to myself, that I wasn’t enjoying doing them anymore. New stuff was surfacing which held no interest for me as a writer. Yet for some unknown reason I felt obliged to run with the herd. I couldn’t work out if I was simply tired of everything, or bored out of my skull with it all? Did I need a break? Or had I lost my writing Mojo?
Unable to find any answers, I decided to look at everything I was doing. Sometimes, you have to admit it, if something isn’t working for you. So I stopped writing for a few weeks. Quit my writing group, and decided to take the summer easy.

Looking back now, I think perhaps it was a combination of tiredness, back pain and all of these other things coming together at the same time, that made me put everything under the microscope . The decision to quit my group was difficult, people I valued had left already, and I struggled to get any constructive critique on my work. I wasn’t getting anything out of the meetings. There had been a lot of changes. Or maybe I had changed. There was no one else writing a novel, no one writing short stories, that I knew of, and I felt I didn’t gel with anyone enough to discuss anything. I wasn't attending regularly and there wasn’t a serious writer in the group. In fact it had turned into a social club, of which I didn’t want to be part of anymore.

On top of this, the Saturday critique workshop I valued had become a place where I was giving everyone else feedback, but not receiving any in return, and although I would always help any fellow writer who valued my opinion enough to ask for it, I realised I needed more than I was getting out of attending the workshops. Consequently, I didn’t re-enrol. I think it is true to say I have had a flat summer in the writing world.

However, recently I’ve added words to my novel, penned a few flash fiction stories and met up with some buddies here and there. Things are beginning to change, and I believe I'm about to start afresh with my writing life.

2 comments:

  1. Good for you Maria. I think we need a break sometimes. As you say, you can stop enjoying your writing if you just do the same old things out of habit. I can lose the urge to write quite suddenly. Usually I give myself a couple of weeks off, and I'll start writing again as suddenly as I stopped. A change of perspective is often the thing that's needed. x

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  2. Totally agree. Its best not to force yourself to do things for the sake of it. Summer is perhaps the best time to put down the pen. Get some sunshine, enjoy life and recharge batteries. I find it a lot easier to write when it's dark cold and horrible. I'm sure you'll bounce back, Maria. Mojos don't stay hidden forever. Sad to hear about your group, though.

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