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.