Welcome back to Blunderstone Rookery, my friends. The absence was not planned and certainly not welcome, but no matter the circumstances surrounding the pause, it has now become another chapter in my writing journey–a story in an of itself, I am finding.
But my absence from the blog is part of a larger issue I have been facing–an absence from writing. It’s a personal chapter that I will simply call “The Dark.”
I think there is a moment–or several moments–that occur for all writers where the momentum stops, the characters fall silent, and the creativity dries up.
No more words.
No more world building.
No more story to tell.
Only darkness in your mind.
I can’t pinpoint the exact day when I realized what was happening, but I do remember the scene: Spring of 2015–coming off another successful NaNoWriMo venture, and prepared to actually edit and shape this manuscript into a published novel–my debut. Finally, I would transition from writer to author.
Then the Dark descended.
7:00 am, an hour before work, lying in bed along in the dark of the early dawn, motionless, and worst of all–content.
Years of dedication to the craft, hours of brainstorming, creating, and revising, and all I could do was stare at the ceiling fan. The next day it was the same routine; the next week and month followed in the same fashion.
It’s not that my life had slowed or become uneventful. Quite the contrary. I had a new role at work and had even started graduate school that summer. But as I lie there enveloped in darkness, I understood that the busy schedule wasn’t to blame. This was something else entirely; I had always made time to write during the busiest times in my life.
No, this time, I was done.
No passion, no desire, and worst of all no need to write.
The void was real and it was massive. I say “was” but in some ways, I’m still bridging the gap between my dreams and my reality.
Through the Dark I looked for a light; my previous fires having slowly died out over the years. It was this quest for a spark that kept me from giving up entirely. I stayed active on Twitter, started this blog, and interacted with the finest writers and storytellers the internet has ever known (even if I felt like I was largely wasting everyone’s time). The support kept me afloat as I waded through a sea of apathy.
What makes apathy worse than doubt? With doubt, you never really believe in your ability; with apathy, you have seen what you are capable of, but aren’t concerned with making progress. You become caged, trapped in a cycle of disdain for your own ideas and effort.
It’s taken more than a full year for me to begin shaking off the Dark. This post is an attempt to start writing regularly, expressing my thought and fears constructively, and sharing my creativity with those who find it worthwhile.
I’m still not certain why the Dark took over or why I allowed it to strip me to within an inch of quitting altogether. But in hitting that point in my writing journey, and with nothing left on the outside to motivate me, I learned a valuable lesson:
Sometimes all you have left is your dream, your soul, and a pencil.
And sometimes…that’s enough.
Write on my Pen Pals–the world needs your story–and mine.