The past few weeks have been an uphill mental battle within myself; wondering where the mojo went with my writing. Yes, I know I am to write because it is my duty as a writer, yes, I know through writing you can start or propel importance conversations about pertinent issues. Yes, I get it. For 18 months straight, 5 days a week without fail I wrote flash fiction stories without breaking a sweat. Some great, others not so great, it was a discipline I honed and eventually fell by the way side.
Soon it started to get harder to write, not because I lacked ideas or anything to say, it started off with slip ups. I would be held up with work and not find time that day to write. Then soon one day became a week. Then I would write blog posts in my head; laugh and go through the emotions of writing those stories in my head and soon it remained in my head. Then I started to feel pressured to do it because (insert whiny voice here) “I don’t want to do it. What’s the point?” I sunk into a defeatist mentality. Fewer people read my blog or left comments; lives weren’t changing, at least visibly, from my stories. This isn’t an earth shattering news piece or an expose pushing for socio-political or economic change. Nope, this was just my 500 words with the hope to entertain.
There were the loyal 5, or maybe one who would nudge me to write some more and expressed their love for some of the stories occasionally. But soon it wasn’t enough to inspire me to get my act together. Instead I sunk into a deep depression. I dined with self pity and we had a whirlwind romance for 2 years. Self pity reminded me everyday why being with him was the best choice that I ever made; there was no need to look back at where I had been. My future was a bleak beauty, something worth the ride. It was amazing while it lasted.
But as the days went by and the months turned to years and I started to meet other people and converse with them, I realised my relationship with self pity was abusive. I had lost myself; I had almost lost my voice. I began to mentally censor my thoughts. Those thoughts that ebbed and flowed in my mind where the cornerstone of my creativity; they were the reason flash fiction came to me so easily. Those thoughts were the questions that I would ask and sometimes pass to my readers in articles. Self pity seduced me into his reality and now, here I am weaning myself off of that dangerous relationship. I am finding my voice once again.
The last three weeks I have been teaching and training people on the importance of storytelling. It’s almost laughable. I was teaching what I was struggling to practice. In all the trainings I said the same thing:
- You need to have an opinion – you are human, you are unique and you more often than not, do have a unique perspective on a situation.
- You need to voice your opinion – you need to be heard, people may not always agree with your position, but it still needs to be heard nonetheless.
- You need to consistently share your opinions – that is what makes the world dynamic. It makes us begin to question. Questioning is the beginning of broadening our horizons. That’s why your opinion matters.
- Write for yourself – at times it’s not about changing the world, or raising an important conversation. At times it’s all about what makes you feel good; what feels right that matters. Sometimes what you write is just yours. That is OK.
There I was, in all these different forums, inspiring people to write and share on blogs, but the reality within me was utterly different. On the bright side, here I am writing now, one day at a time, one moment at a time and rediscovering the rhythm that works best for me to share my opinions with the world.