Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Sometimes space is what you need

Last week I took a week off to go to the gym, to have Lush baths and kickstart my Handmade Wardrobe sewing hobby. I didn't write much apart from this blog and I didn't read as much as I thought I would (just wanted to sew!)

Taking some time off from words felt... Really good actually. Ashamed though I am to admit that. It felt good to turn my entire focus onto improving my fitness and learning a new skill - I felt legitimately able to not worry about my writing for a few days, because I was doing something else.

Perhaps this is the first step in getting over the Big Bad Block? Surely worrying over this is just wearing a hole in my mental carpet? Over the years, it has proven to be hugely unhelpful.

Writing about the causes of my block was actually really helpful - I've never considered them before. And revisiting that time when I was flying through words actually made me remember - that didn't just happen. I didn't wake up one day and start throwing words all over the place. It was a build up - it started gradually and then grew hugely into something with it's own fierce and fast momentum.

This was a huge relief. I didn't have to look for that again, I could just trust that it would come later. I only had to focus on the first step of the ladder.

But. Focusing obsessively on that first step is just as pointless as worrying in general.

So this last week has proved hugely useful - taking a step away from my writing (or lack thereof) has actually helped. It's been lovely to take the pressure off, throw myself into something else without the worry that I should be giving that attention to my writing!! More than that - I allowed myself to enjoy words for their own sake. From the books and magazines I read to the podcasts I listened to, words were there for fun, for joy - not for pressure.

And the words came knocking. My stories that have been shoved aside because the opening paragraphs felt stodgy and thick instead of loose, lyrical and flowing - they started tapping again. I don't want to write because I'm hanging onto a childhood dream, I want to write because I am a storyteller.

Taking a step away from my writing has proved more helpful than all the years of pushing and stressing out about it. The words, the stories, will come knocking if they are important.

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