There are days when my writing sends warm tingling feelings shooting up my spine, sets off fireworks inside my chest and makes me walk a little taller. These days are rare, but when they do happen, I am a different person.
There are also days when my writing makes me feel small, anxious and alone, like a lost child. I thought the lost child comparison would make a good blog post.
Here are my reasons, which I hope some of you can identify with:
- Once you take a break, step away, shelve or maybe publish a draft novel, which you have been attached to for months or, in some cases, years. This is very similar to letting go of your mum or dad’s hand. All of a sudden you are on your own and this can feel pretty scary. What do you do now and which way do you turn?
- Some days being on social media can feel like you are sat by the side of the road, wearing your favourite Wonder Woman fancy dress outfit, watching everyone hurrying along to their book launches and meetings to secure publishing deals. You, on the other hand, have only recently stopped crying about your third draft, which has more crater sized holes in it than the moon and your missing favourite pen, which disappeared down the side of the sofa three days ago and has still not been found.
- Getting stuck on a third draft, which has sucked the life out of you for six months and is proving too much for your little writer brain to cope with. You fight the urge to curl up in a ball and cry out for your parents, like you did when you were little.
- Trying to decide which direction to take your writing in can feel similar to being a lost child. All the roads ahead seem strange and unfamiliar. Which way should you go? Will you ever find your way home again? As an unpublished author you are on your own and there is no editor or agent to confide in about whether you should switch genres or change your writing style.
- When a close creative friend decides to give up writing. I have experienced this and it can make you feel like you are little again and no longer holding someone’s hand. All of a sudden you find yourself on your own. There’s no one to reach out to and you start to wonder whether you will ever recreate what you had with your writing friend.
If you are reading this and feeling like a lost child with your writing today, I am sending you a huge virtual hug with this post. I know how it feels and I have been there countless times.
In fact I am feeling like a small, lost child right now. I don’t think my third draft works and I feel a bit lost. Also my Wonder Woman outfit is looking a bit jaded.
What I do know is that help will appear, although it won’t be in the form of what I expect (magical literary elves turning up to rewrite my third draft). Help will come through social media, reading a helpful book, blog post or article, listening to a writing podcast, writing in a creative journal, reading another writer’s tweets or telling myself this feeling will pass.
This is what you all must take away from my post, the lost child feeling will pass.
Just keep writing and wearing your Wonder Woman outfit x