Well, it’s been a while. A while since I wrote a blog post, a while since I wrote anything really. 2018 was an odd year, a difficult year, a year that knocked me for six and left me without any ability to write, even though I had so many stories in my head just waiting to be written down.
2018 saw my mum die unexpectedly just a few days before my birthday, leaving me lost and angry. 2018 also saw me getting married, a wonderful, happy day full of family and friends, but still missing my mum and dad. 2018 saw my day job become much more challenging, particularly emotionally. All in all, 2018 took everything from me and became a lost year in terms of writing.
I was determined that 2019 was going to be different. My publisher has been brilliant, giving me time and support, but I knew it was time to get back on track… and I tried. But, try as I might, I couldn’t write. Hours spent in front of the laptop, determined to write, saw me hopping from one story idea to the next, with little more than a few paragraphs to show for it. Work continues to get more challenging, leaving me drained and so, a few weeks ago, I decided that maybe this was it, maybe I needed to take a break from writing, to give myself a break and take away the pressure. I belong to the Beverley Chapter, the local Romantic Novelist Association writers’ group and, at the March meeting, I told my friends there that I was giving up writing for the foreseeable future. The support I received was unbelievable and, most of all, they understood. It was a relief to finally tell someone, to share it with people who knew how difficult it is to write and that sometimes you need to take a step back. The relief was huge, but tinged with sadness.
I started reading again – something else I lost in 2018; my love for reading. But since New Year, I’ve been reading voraciously, in turns inspired and demotivated by the brilliance I see in other authors. But this weekend, something changed.
My son bought me a book for Mother’s Day last week; he bought it because the blurb indicated it was loosely based or inspired by the film Labyrinth, one of my favourite films. I picked it up and started reading and couldn’t stop. I was lost in the story and the way in which S. Jae-Jones told the story, the detail and description, emotion in every line. I finished the book in two days, blown away by how the writing made me feel. It has inspired me. If I could write a book that made my reader feel even a fraction of the emotion that I felt, I would be happy.
And so I’m here, back in front of my laptop, experiencing a fledgling hope that this inspiration to write, to improve on my writing, will stay with me. Even if it doesn’t, I’m hopeful that I will find other moments of inspiration to write along they way until it once again becomes my routine, and my pleasure. After all, the stories still whirl around my head, begging to be written.
I hope you’ll forgive this rather self-indulgent blog post. I wanted to draw a line in the sand, go public with the fact that I’m determined to get back on track, to find myself once more, and this is my start. Day One. Fingers crossed it works.