I haven’t been on WordPress for a while- life has sped up and filled in to such a point that I haven’t even thought about trying to put a blog post together for months.
In two weeks time my work contract comes to an end, and so I’ve been filling in application forms and trying to find a new job. I want to write another post about the last nine months, and all that I have learnt whilst working in the position of Support Worker. It’s been a learning curve; a fairly steep, pressured, professional and personal learning curve- and I’ve had nearly all of my conscious and subconscious preconceptions relating to myself and to the job challenged.
But I will save all that for another entry.
Here, today, I wanted to write about the other reason I’d been avoiding WordPress.
As some of you will know I’ve been working on a book relating to my recovery from the negative aspects of schizophrenia for over two years now. I’ve been diligently working on editing and developing it so that it is something which is engaging and readable, and I’m pleased with how it’s been going. The book has come on such a long way from the first edited version I finished over the autumn of 2016.
I’m now working on 5th edit, and I gave it out to a few different people about two months ago to beta read first chapters and give me feedback.
Now the feedback I received was mostly positive, and I know I tend to put too much emphasis on what other people have to say- because the few pieces of criticism I did receive knocked me, to the point where I lost confidence in what I was writing, and lost sight of what I was trying to achieve.
This threw me, and I started to wonder what I was doing with all this writing malarky; I started to loose confidence that what I was doing was worthwhile, and started to wonder whether I was only kidding myself and wasting my time.
I lost sight of the book, and in that space I grabbed onto something else to work on, because whilst my confidence was down, I couldn’t quite abide the idea of not writing at all, of not working on anything at all.
I started editing a short story I wrote a few months back, with intention of sending it into a writing competition- just for the fun of it. This went well, but then, after reading through the winner of last years competition’s story, and then the runner up’s, my suspicions were confirmed- my story wasn’t at the standard it needed to be yet. It was good, and there was potential in it- but it wasn’t yet good enough.
So this knocked me again. I started to loose confidence in the inherent worth of writing; I started to feel as though there was only worth in it if I was making something of it- winning competitions, publishing great works and receiving acclaim. I started to think that I was pouring my time and energy into something which simply wasn’t worth it.
I’m sure all writers go through this, this period of self-doubt and fierce self-dissection. I knew that it was only the stress and strain of worrying about work, and worrying about other things, transferring in my mind onto my writing dreams. I realised, however, about a week ago, that I hadn’t been onto WordPress for a while either, and that when I thought about WordPress, it all seemed a little bit frivolous- it all seemed a little bit ego-centric and like a waste of time.
This wasn’t right- this wasn’t fair or accurate or what I really believed at all. I do write articles on WordPress for the pure enjoyment of writing them, and then seeing if anybody else likes them afterwards: I write about things which are a little abstract, often, and I write about things which might seem self-orientated or melodramatic to some. I treat it a little bit like an online journal at times, and I explore issues which are close to my heart and which affect me- my mental health issues being the main part of that.
But you know what? That is all fine.
This is my blog, this is my page; I can fill it up with whatever I like. That was what I loved about WordPress when I started writing a couple of years ago; I use it as a platform to raise awareness of the reality behind mental health issues, and also as a way to explore my own experiences and therefore gain mastery over them, and I believe both of those pursuits are worthwhile.
I enjoy writing in this blog; and I know that the act of writing itself is always productive, always useful. Every article I write on here contributes to my future, brings me one tiny step closer to realising my dreams and becoming a published writer.
So this article is really just an acknowledgement, that whilst this blog might be a tad ego-centric, and a tad abstract- that is fine. I don’t have to worry about whether or not these articles would win prizes, or whether or not they are structured in exactly the most effective way, or whether or not i’m balancing my opinions with appropriate opposing arguments and context- I just need to keep writing them, and keep believing that what I’m doing is meaningful, what I’m doing is worthwhile and might one day contribute to achieving my dreams.
I’m planning on getting back into the book soon as well; I had a eureka moment a couple of weeks back which basically gave me a whole new way of seeing it- and a new emphasis on how I might proceed with writing it. I’m going to write an another article about that- before I actually get back to writing the book.
I also plan on returning to WordPress on a much more regular basis- just because it’s fun.
I don’t ever want to lose the enjoyment I get from writing, and the pleasure I take from putting together articles and exploring ideas and concepts. I dream that one day I’ll write something which other people will believe is good enough to publish, but in the meantime, I hope I never lose the thrill of writing for its own sake.