On reaching the half way point on my own little journey on this writing train, I’ve stopped to just take a breather.
When I came up with this idea, during Lent, of writing something every single day for 40 days I felt so excited and enthusiastic about this journey and this adventure I was about to embark on. And I am so happy that that feeling remains in me.
When I realised exactly what it took to sit down and write something every day and then publishing it for everyone to see, I kind of overlooked the basics – time, my life, my thoughts and did I say time?!
I know I said that twice, but writing is so time consuming. It is not a negative thing, there are worse things that I could be doing, and I am by no means giving out about it. But there is literally not enough hours in the day when you are a “writer”. A “writer” with a full time job, friendships, a social life, a demanding one-sided relationship with a cat and an obsession with always having to read something for at least two hours.
When I sat down and wrote something 4 hours could pass and I wouldn’t have even edited it at that stage and I was neglecting other areas of myself that I enjoyed giving time to. I was also afraid that the quality of my writing would suffer if I pressured myself into writing and publishing every single day; so instead, I published every other day. The only thing I didn’t change about my new timetable, was the writing. I still sit down and write something every single day even though it is not finished or published.
It doesn’t have to be a thesis of information, but it could be a descriptive paragraph or a half a page of something or an interesting thought. I will save it. And I will come back to it the next day. And this really helped me. Because I was able to come back to it with a fresh mind and rearrange things or add parts to the text that I didn’t think of the day before.
I felt so guilty about not publishing something every single day, but then I stopped to look at all the positive things that came out of pulling yourself away from writing to gather your thoughts, to let your brain breathe and also to let yourself enjoy life and to stop to smell the roses!
I have approached all of this with a very open mind. I don’t believe for a second that I am on par with Stephen King or that I’m a pro at what I do. But what I do know is that in the last 20 or so days, I have really surprised myself. I have touched people, held their attention for 5 minutes, brought a tear to their eye or a smile to their face. I’ve made people think about things they probably wouldn’t have before, or from a perspective they would never have found. And that to me is just such a reward. But the greatest reward that I have received from this so far, is the belief I now have in myself and the confidence that I have in myself as a writer – and that I can do it if I really want to. And I am only half way across a journey. It is the most liberating feeling in the world, and I would encourage all of you to do it too. Your thing might not be writing, but you have to do it for yourself. Find what it is that is in you and explore it, and do not be afraid to share it with the world.
I have had so much support from people in the last few weeks. I have been supported by family, friends and workmates, urging me to publish something I was nervous about and not to worry about what other people think. They’ve given me confidence in myself, something I lack. I’ve also been supported by other writers on WordPress and readers from all over the world, and I just want to take this opportunity at this half way point to say a huge and heartfelt THANK YOU to you – YES, YOU READING THIS!! – For helping me, by simply reading with me, thinking with me, and experiencing this with me.
I started this journey not knowing what I might learn or gain from doing it. But I took the first step, and you took it with me. I don’t know what lies at the end of it. As with all great journeys, I think the best ones are the ones you don’t know where it’s going to take you. I just wanted to say thank you at this little pit-stop 🙂
I’m off now to put the finishing touches to my short story, that I hope you are all enjoying as much as I am writing it for you.
Looking forward to our next 20 days, together.