I wrote the first draft of this blog post a few times with a narrative about why I haven’t posted for a while, why I let writing slide, why I wasn’t feeling this anymore and how I was feeling in this new routine of total isolation.
But I was writing it for no reason, really. No reason at all, other than it taking up a bit of space on this limitless page. I’ve written it all down in my journal, and though sometimes I want to scream it out onto a digital platform, it doesn’t really come down to anything other than an excuse.
I’ve decided to shake things up a bit.
My writing isn’t good. It’s unedited, rushed and all-around not what I want to be writing. I don’t regret the last 6 months because I’ve written more in that time than I have in years – but after a while I got more obsessed with how it all looked from the outside. Maybe it’s because I work in marketing and am a complete perfectionist, but I was too focused on the set dressing of this damn thing. Making the blog look pretty, creating an Instagram account so I had another thing to do that wasn’t writing, but was so closely related I could almost convince myself it was.
I read ‘Consider This: Moments in my writing life after which everything was different’ by Chuck Palahniuk and it has given me a bit of a lightbulb moment. I’ve written up notes from the entire book which took me about a week (and I won’t be sharing as a whole, because – well, buy the book), but will be following a lot of the suggestions. He’s got reading lists and exercises which I’m looking forward to diving into.
I’ll still be doing book reviews, and I’ll be doing writing exercises and maybe updates on how that’s all going – but I won’t be doing one short story every two weeks, just because I want to put something out there. I’m going to work more on crafting full stories, editing properly and writing what I want to write. I’m going to try hard to block out what I think will ‘look’ best, in other words.
For years I’ve spoken about what I’m writing next. What novel I’m starting, what project I’m a few pages into. They always come to nothing. For now, the only thing I can do to surprise myself is to actually finish what I’ve started.