Aka: My blog is dead! Long live the blog.
Fellow writers: Without the written word, we’d feel dead, right? A shell of a person filled with strange or wonderful ideas that couldn’t be adequately expressed.
And yet, when we are at our lowest is writing the last thing we turn to?
Take for example my blog. I just realized I didn’t do a post for April. I’ve been wallowing a bit about a full time magazine job that didn’t work out. At this job, after a soul-sucking commute, I felt like I was clocking into a content mill daily. I read less. My stories became chores.
So, of course, after leaving I wanted nothing to do with writing. In fact, I rarely even used my computer. I couldn’t be near anything that had to do with what I considered a failed job.
You’d think by now, I’d have written multiple blogs about this. I had plans to write out about transitioning into and out of full time work. That was supposed to be my blog for April.
But instead I wallowed in silence. And you know what happens when a writer wallows. Depression and anxiety seeps in. Instead of releasing all of the negativity onto the page, I avoided it. I’ve been putting off writing assignments, social media posts.
All of the familiar signs of depression popped up. I canceled interviews and social engagements. I never bothered to change clothes or wash my face every day. I’d lose track of what day it was. And I became more successful at video games than in reality.
I let life go.
I was watching myself sink lower and lower, and I allowed it, because I was grieving. But it made no sense, because writing gets you through the grieving process. It gives life. Writing replaces all of the horrible feelings with peace. You don’t feel empty. Instead what’s remaining is relief.
What came first? Was I depressed because I started to hate writing? Or did dropping the pen cause sadness? Probably both. And that’s why writing is so valuable and vital to every human life.
Yes, I’m talking to you, 9 to 5er. Or you, frazzled entrepreneur. You don’t make money as a writer, but you can still take advantage of its therapeutic, life-giving benefits.
Besides the ubiquitous phrase “Write anyway,” what else can you do when you get to the point where writing an appointment in your calendar seems like too much work? Here’s what I did:
Whatever I wanted. At least for a while. I caught up on TV, tried a couple of new video games and spent more time cuddling with my husband.
But if you’re an entrepreneur, you not only have deadlines you set for yourself but also hard deadlines for your clients. What about those commitments?
You don’t have to push your deadlines away. Just do a little bit towards them each day. And by a little bit, I mean very little. 60 seconds, if you can spare it. Just get something done.
I’ve done little things to get towards those steps where I feel like writing. That includes this post. Writing is not only therapeutic, it’s an achievement. One small goal I’ve accomplished today. It came from a place where getting out of bed seemed like too much. (Still does a bit.)
You’ll notice some changes around here. But giving up writing isn’t one of those changes.
Why is writing important to you? What do you do when you stop? Enter the essay contest and let me know in the comments below.