I don’t know about anyone else but I am not a barrel of laughs when I don’t write.
It can be hard to admit this to a loved one as in your head you are sweetness and light.
There are 5 stages to admitting you are a nightmare to live with when you don’t write…
- Writing Drought Stage. It has been a long time since you last wrote anything. You are suffering from a painful episode of writer’s block and sitting down to write feels like a thing of the past. Your little word friends are like strangers to you. A writing drought is a sad and bleak time for any writer.
- Emotional Stage. You are a little emotional but you think you are handling it well. You are biting your tongue a lot and trying to force a smile out. What you don’t realise at this stage is your creativity doesn’t have anywhere to go, so it festers away inside you resulting in tears, mood swings, tantrums, snappiness, sarcasm and a low mood. The phrase ‘better out than in’ works well here. You praise yourself on coping well during this writing drought stage as no one around you has noticed you are not writing. After a good snivel into some tissues and a slice of cheese from the fridge you wander about your deserted house, muttering about the past, like some miserable ghost.
- Awareness Stage. The frustrating part of this whole situation is you think you are hiding your ‘not writing / slowly going insane’ state really well, but reality is very different. In your head you are sweetness and light so it’s a shock when you start to receive some interesting comments from loved ones like ‘you are a nightmare to live with right now!’ and ‘I wish you would just go bloody write something because this is hell!’ Friends suddenly go quiet on you and even odd relatives give you a wide berth at family gatherings (every dark cloud has a silver lining!)
- Denial Stage. You enter into the writer denial stage. You are NOT a nightmare to live with when you don’t write! For goodness sake it’s not like writing is keeping away the men in white coats! Everyone has voices in their head. You are a JOY to be around right now! Your loved ones are over reacting. Not doing any writing doesn’t result in crazy times! You are not a loon and even if you were your writing drought has nothing to do with it. After a strong word with loved ones you stagger away ignoring the facial twitch, the messy hair, scruffy clothes and miserable expression.
- Acceptance Stage. After an emotional breakdown at the kitchen table (caused by an innocent comment from a loved one about when they can expect you to go write something) you are forced to think about your mental state over the last few weeks / months. You start to be honest with yourself and instead of recalling some fake idyllic moments you think about the tantrums, tears, low moods, sarcastic comments, flying off the handle at stuff and the cold silence after your loved one made a comment about how different you were when you were writing. The literary penny finally drops! Huzzah! You admit you are a hard work when you don’t write anything. It’s a tough one to stomach and you have to take a writer nap to digest it properly. As you head off to bed, you let out a loud sigh and shake your head. Your loved ones were right, when you stop writing you turn into a crazy person! It’s a funny old world – sigh!
Happy Writing all 🙂
photo credit: Upsplash