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Reviving Your Inner Writer

reviving your writing life

This is my entry for Positive Writer’s “How Writing Has Positively Influenced My Life” essay contest.

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 you’ve produced can be shared, kept to oneself or destroyed. I’ve learned many times over why you should never stop writing, even if you forgo the ritual of writing daily.

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. 

11 thoughts on “Reviving Your Inner Writer

  1. Great post, Williesha. A great reminder of the way writing and out personal lives become intertwined, and of how important it is to just take things one step at a time.

    Looking forward to seeing more posts!

  2. I’m write there with you. Today is the first time I’ve actually written a post in a while (and I have it in draft ready to post tomorrow).

    I posted a blogpost the other day, but it had been in draft for months. What I funk that was. But I was inspired the other day by this: inspiration and motivation come from action. So natural my post tomorrow will be all about that.

    Glad you got your mojo back.

  3. Hi Williesha,

    You are indeed a very gifted writer!

    Sorry to hear about your frustrations but it’s all part of the climb.

    Things get so much better when we’re at a place of total clarity of purpose in our lives. Most people think that finding clarity is a mental exercise, it isn’t, instead it’s a physical/active exercise.

    We try things. We move forward in the journey. Sometimes things fit. Sometimes they don’t.

    You must keep moving in order to find total clarity. Standing still as you said causes depression and pain.

    But the experiences you speak of aren’t a loss, they make you smarter, more interesting, and give you something to share.

    Here’s my challenge to you:

    What would you do if money weren’t an issue? What would you want to do all day? If you say eat ice cream and watch TV I can’t help you much there.

    But if you want to inspire or teach people something what would that be?

    Figure out how to get people to pay you for that.

    Set up a process and see it through until the very end.

    When I finally started seeing real success in my business was when I discovered a process I developed called the art of self-removal. I decided to put serving others above my own needs. I stopped focusing so hard on myself.

    Just a thought! I know you’ll figure it out!
    Tammy

  4. I so can relate to this post. Especially the part about avoiding! The ironic part is that the longer we avoid writing, the worse we feel–and so starts the depression spiral! *sigh* we writery-types need really need to get over ourselves sometimes!

    I also think there is definitely something to be said about just settling into your dark mood from time to time and waiting for it to lift. I definitely go through phases throughout the month and my moods fluctuate. I’ve found sometimes it’s okay to just flow with a depressed mood and give yourself a break…just don’t let that break go too long!

    Looks like you’ve broken though it and moved on, so go you!!

    1. Ivy, your timing couldn’t be more perfect. I’ve been really slogging it out. I’m finally sitting down to work on a story that’s been hanging over my head – transcribing the interview, actually. It feels good, but I do feel bummed I haven’t worked on this earlier.

      Thanks for the encouragement. You know you try to be productive in those low points, but it’s hard.

  5. Yeah you can say that again. I’ve been there and this was as a result of the job I got. It made me to neglect my blog and personal development through reading. I just revived my writing with the help of my vision partner (thanks Tito).

    I must confess that this article has really inspired me the more to revive my writing fully. Thanks a lot Williesha.

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