Over the past few months I've been plugging along on my novel, soaking in every bit of information about writing that I can and learning from the good people who make themselves accessible to relatively new writers like myself. I’ve enjoyed my time here, and I’ve enjoyed reading the opinions of other people, even when I disagree with them.
I feel like, however, things have gotten a lot more difficult for me lately. When I first began writing, it felt great. I wrote every day and it seemed like I was constantly learning and growing as a writer. I felt genuinely optimistic that I could become published at some point. I still write, and even though I enjoy it, it has lost much of its appeal and I have become emotionally detached from nearly everything I do. My ideas are darker than they once were, and I have a feeling that if I keep up my current pattern, my novel is going to have one of the most excessively and pointlessly depressing endings that I could imagine. That isn’t what I want, but it reflects my mental state at the moment.
The funny thing is that I can pinpoint exactly when writing went from a pleasure to a chore.
Earlier this month I had a profoundly negative experience that affected me on a deep, emotional level. In the following days I obsessed over it. No matter how hard I tried to center my mind and have a positive outlook, I could not. For most people this single event that lasted less than fifteen minutes probably would have meant nothing, but I lost sleep over it and could not tear my mind away from it. I still occasionally lose sleep over it.
What happened had absolutely nothing to do with my writing, but it took me out of my element so much that I am apparently still struggling to regain the passion for what once had been such a promising and enjoyable hobby for me. I have started to write again, and have even written a complete short story and a couple of chapters for my novel. But I don’t feel good about any of it. I’ve lost confidence. I’m scared to show my work to anyone or submit any more than I already have.
I haven’t lost hope, and the fact that I’m still writing at all grants me a small measure of comfort. I just look forward to the days when I can once again feel happy and accomplished about my work
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