A writer writes. When a writer is too ill, too tired, too overwhelmed by life to write, then that creates a gulf that makes it ever more difficult to get back to the art and craft of writing. Not only do you have to overcome whatever kept you from writing in the first place, you have to find a way to get back to the place you were when you stopped writing.
It’s not an easy road to travel, but it’s one we (almost) all will inevitably travel. Some of us will travel it many times throughout our writing career. I know I have.
One of the most frustrating things for me is to see how the quality of my writing has gone down. I’m out of practice. It’s harder to force myself to sit down and write, because I’ve broken the habit. It’s harder to turn thoughts into coherent words, because the words don’t come quite so readily as they used to do. It’s a struggle. It can be quite painful. And, seeing that the writer is usually coming off a rather low point to begin with, it can be difficult to endure the pain.
Many writers are tempted to wait. If they wait long enough, they figure, the timing will be right and the words will come.
I’ve done that. Even when the words are urgent and the need to write is strong, the poor quality, the poor habits, and the struggle and pain are still there, waiting for you to come back to them.
I recommend sitting down and writing. Even if it’s not as good, not as passionate, not as ready. Even if it feels like you’re wringing words out of a dirty rag. Sit down and write. You can always toss it. You can always revise it. But at least you’ve started.
This, too, is part of your recovery. If you’ve ever broken a limb, then you know the pain of healing hurts. But the pain of healing the bone alone doesn’t restore you. In the physical world, it’s called rehab, or rehabilitation. This, too, is part of your healing and restoration process. This, too, is part of your recovery. And it hurts. If you run from it, you could lose what you had forever. If you endure it, you can become stronger than you were before.
P.S. I have finished the final course of my graduate degree. While I suppose it’s not official until I go through the graduation ceremony and have the degree in hand, I now have a Master’s of Science in Written Communications.
I’d planned for this moment, but now that I’m here and after my long period of illness/exhaustion, I don’t have the momentum I expected. I feel adrift. I’m not sure what comes next.