You may have noticed, my blog posts here have been few and far between for the last couple of years, and my 'work in progress' isn't so 'in progress'... Here's why I've stepped back a little on the whole writing she-bang.
So why did I stop?
I guess that's a little unfair. I haven't stopped writing for fun/enterprise entirely. I still blog weekly for my baking business 280 Bakes and it's going great guns. However, the last post (aside from two in early March when I panicked and got keen again for a day) on my Born to be a Tourist travel blog was exactly a year ago, and on here, my poor writing/lifestyle blog has been severely neglected. The last post here was posted in May last year. Call myself a writer??
Well, actually I don't think I do call myself a writer any more.
I write. I do. I use my skills in writing all the time: I write emails every day, to people as diverse as my Grandma (catching up) to the Lord Mayor of Bristol (a VIP event invite for 280 Bakes), I write reports, minutes, emails in my 'day job' in an office in Bristol... I was praised yesterday, in fact, for my easy style of writing - which prompted this post. Unfortunately though, it's just writing a shopping list that's missing from the list of things I seriously sit down and write. I just don't do creative writing much nowadays.
And it's not like I cut back consciously. It happened gradually perhaps, and time flew by; suddenly it had been months and years since I'd worked on anything bigger than a 500 word blog about cake.
I think my writing time was diminished for a number of reasons:
a) Life got busy. Busier. Married, a (new) full time job and a business to run on the side, a pup, living in a new town with things to discover, more financial responsibilities... all these things take up time, no matter how pleased I might be to welcome them into my life.
c) I think, honestly, I've moved on a little from writing, too. I felt a bit guilty about this for a while, and I have no idea why. It's not like I was letting down millions of fans. A few thousand followed me on the blogs, but I am sure no one cried. I was fully aware I was never going to get rich writing, but was keen at one stage to see my skills and portfolio develop professionally. Now, I guess, I have other interests, but should use writing more as a hobby or an outlet more.
d) I went through some dark times - anxiety and depression doesn't encourage creativity, but with hindsight, it could have helped. At the time though, I couldn't face writing anything with concentration levels on the floor and low self-esteem. No one wanted to hear from me, I was sure, and I didn't really want to get stuck in writing negatively centred things.
However, there's hope. The fact I'm writing this post is a positive sign. Hey, life is always busy - it's about making time for what you want to do, your priorities. I've not found a writing group in Bristol which works for me, and I don't know if I'm that enthused about going along, really, now. And you know what, it's ok if writing isn't a priority for me now. It's just there, hovering in the background, something I can dip into as and when. Moving on isn't a bad thing, in many aspects of life, but I know I can always go back to it. Life has taught me a lot in the last few years, and I'm sure there's something I could say, especially now I'm much-improved mentally. Still working on it every day, but much mended.
I have 39 unfinished drafts for Miss Write and many more for Born to be a Tourist. Maybe I'll have a crack this weekend. A long, potentially wet weather Easter weekend is a perfect excuse for some inner expression. Watch this space - but don't hold your breath.
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