I haven’t been writing much lately. Lols.
I thought, the only up-side to having a severe mental health relapse and having to leave work and go back onto benefits is that I’ll have a lot of time to write! I thought: I can get up in the morning, spend a few hours working and then head to the gym. Aah the untapped potential of ideas and plans such as these! They seem to hold so strongly, until you actually wake up on the first morning and face the task of translating plans into practise.
I know this isn’t at all unusual: I know that most of us have grand plans and ideas which we just never, ever, seem to have the time to actualise. I guess I’m just tetchy because at the moment I have nothing but time; I’m not having to fit this writing in around anything, I don’t have any other pulls or drags on my energy and focus. Though I swear to God this actually makes it worse- it’s like the huge potential I have at the moment, to get into a good writing routine, just increases the intensity of the little voices which seem to nip and nag the moment I actually start to consider doing anything.
At the moment I’m sleeping, on average, about 12 hours a night. I just don’t wake up in the morning, and then when I do I struggle to rise. I will give myself this though, I need time to heal, and it’s during the night-time hours that the brain does this best. However I’ve really, really struggled to push myself into action when I’m actually up and caffinated enough to function.
I don’t find it too difficult to write these “checking in” articles, which I used to try and churn out when I wasn’t too motivated to write about anything specific, because I read that blog writing requires consistency- so it’s better to write something than nothing. But I am struggling to write anything which requires a degree of planning or editing. I started a review of a book a couple of days ago, free-wrote about 2000 words but my resolve crumbled completely when I started to considering editing it.
I said to someone the other day, I can free-write on and on and on, but if my writing it actually going to improve I need to devote more time to editing and mindfully considering what I’m churning out, instead of simply letting it come out and then leaving it in its first form.
I’m putting my self help on the back burner for the moment. I’ve become slightly disillusioned with it, for the reason that my recent relapse seems to have undermined everything I previously thought was affirmative in it. It occurred to me that everything I’ve written about being a long journey should ideally happen in about the first year after being diagnosed with a severe mental illness- but I may have been in a particularly negative mood then- I’m not sure. I just can’t go back to it at this time, it’s too ironic, too tragic, and just too difficult.
So instead I have been endlessly jumping back and forth between other different projects. I started writing, what I meant to be a short story but which quickly expanded into a 10,000 word opening, a novel about a character suffering mental illness and also her care coordinator who loses a client and is so suffering her own grief and depression whilst attempting to support the original character. This also quickly became slightly morbid. I stuck at it for a while, thinking it would be good for me to get some of that darkness out, but it soon became difficult and so I left it.
This evening has been the first that I’ve felt, for a few weeks now, a real urge to write. Which is encouraging. It’s almost been two months since I left hospital, and I’m still wavering between wanting to document what happened, with leaving it well alone and attempting to move forwards into slightly less self-obsessive territory. It’s just unfortunate that so many of the experiences beg to be disseminated, and moreover I’ve set something of a precedent with the blog, for rambling self-explorative articles. However, as rambling as they always were, I did generally have a subject which I was attempting to personally adjudicate on.
Lately I haven’t had energy consistent enough to get to the end of anything like this.
But! There is always tomorrow. I’m off on holiday on Monday which I think will lift my spirits, and I’m hoping to start some volunteering soon afterwards which might be enough to lift me out of this funk. On the positive side I’ve been reading some great books, which is the other side of writing. I’ve read repeatedly that the second best thing to do, when one is attempting to improve their writing after writing itself(!), is reading. So I feel like I’ve got through some great novels recently which is positive.
Fingers crossed for these great dreams 🙂