I’m presently locked into a violent and somewhat personal battle with the words which exist in my head. I’ve found most of the relevant ones already, now I’m struggling to rearrange them into an order which pleases me.
This battle’s been going on for quite some time, and my associated war wounds are real and severe. I’ve been frantically working, writing, on my own in my flat with nothing but Spotify for company and a slow and building fear that I might actually (again) be loosing it. There is only so much coffee you can drink before the jitters start impeding your ability to type.
I’ve been promising myself that when I finish this chapter, this edit, this version I will go outside and engage with the natural world again. I will call the friends I’ve been meaning to, I will start cooking real food again, I will get back to yoga, meditation etc etc. I’ve been promising that my self-care will improve and I’ll start trying to diversify the way I use my free time.
Unfortunately, finishing this book has become a compulsive urge. It’s the scab I cannot stop picking, and if I’m not working on it I’m thinking about working on it.
I had started to worry that I’d spin off into a caffeine fuelled netherworld and that the completed manuscript would simply be terrible because the final few chapters would have been written through bleary, teary, red eyes.
Then I made a discovery, a discover which has opened the world up for me again, made it accessible and made me feel less like an anti-social, jittering oddity and more like every single other dedicated and committed writer out there.
I discovered the #WritingCommunity on Twitter, and it has changed everything.
Finding so many other people struggling with the same highs, lows, minefields, dilemmas and desperate, determined as-of-yet-unrealised hopes has been life-affirming and utterly game changing for me.
It’s been so encouraging to read about other people’s battles, their pathways, processions and development. It’s been heartening to discover that there are so many other people doing battle- every single day- with the words inside their head. That I am not the only one who has started to wonder whether their novel actually despises them, and might secretly be trying to kill them.
I have personally been in a love/hate relationship with my own book for at least a year, so it makes sense that some of these emotions would have rubbed off onto the words themselves. Other people seem to understand this- #writingcommunity has introduced me to people who get this and understand my hope that this conflict will only make my book more compelling, my descriptions more profound.
As you can probably tell, this book is starting to mess with me a little bit. However, #WritingCommnity on twitter has made me feel less alone, and less weird in this internalised conflict. It’s reassured me that other people are living this battle, this pain, this blood, sweat and tears and compulsion to keep going despite all of this.
I do still enjoy it, some of the time, most of the time 🙂 I still enjoy writing, and left a comment earlier today to someone who asked; how others kept themselves going when times got tough. I replied that for me personally, all I really have to do is think about how much work I’ve already poured in, and this will harden my resolve to get the dam thing finished!
I think that for me, the idea of not carrying on is more painful than carrying on. I’m close to the end now, and so can see the finish line. This is motivational and inspiring and lights the fire in my belly again. I know that once I put together my proposal and get the manuscript sent off to agents, the feeling which will accompany that will be the best and will make all the horror worth it.
The #WritingCommunity has kinda opened up all this positivity for me again, and showed me that I am not alone- I am not as weird, introverted and insular as I had started to feel.
Writing demands a sacrifice I guess, and for those of us who do it it’s not really a choice. It’s more of a drive, an urge which demands that it be released and realised.
To all those of you out there who are living through the battle I say- keep going, keep pulling those words out and then moulding them!
That’s the magic, and it’s what we live for 🙂
#AmWriting #WritersLife #WritingCommunity