I can do this


I've found this podcast recently and it's actually been pretty helpful in getting me back on the writing bandwagon. This post is specifically inspired by Episode 3 of that podcast which is called 'writing as self care.'

I've been putting off various writing projects for most of my life. It was only about three years ago that I was finally sure writing was the thing that I wanted to do, the thing that I wanted to practice with a purpose.

Acting, art, animation, screenwriting, filmmaking, and music have all been passing interests that I've bounced between over the years searching for a creative outlet; some of that bouncing, I've come to understand stems from severe anxiety that I've been dealing with for most of my life. It wasn't until I sought treatment for said anxiety that I was finally able to figure out how my mind wanted to express itself.

It was within a few months of beginning medication that I started to write and complete short stories on a regular basis. It was that year that I also managed to successfully complete NanoWrimo, although that novel is technically unfinished (turns out it was not a 50,000 word story).

Although the anxiety was lessened across all aspects of my life, I began to feel blocked again. I'm starting to realize that this may be due to the prevalence of 'writing to make money media' that has erupted across the internet. Every time I sat down I was overwhelmed with the need to plot something out and write it as fast as humanly possible; I did complete nanowrimo after all, right? But, over the years, I had grown to hate that novel project. I realized that my protagonist had no agency and wasn't very likeable. I no longer thought about that project as a successful run at NanoWrimo but as a phenomenal waste of time.

That rant brings you pretty much up to speed. The last few years have continued to be filled with scrivener files that are started and barely used, an overwhelming need to finish a book that I could self-publish or do something with, and a constant feeling of inadequacy.

The entire internet was screaming at me that to write was to make money and to plot was to write. I'm still struggling with plot but that will be another entry in the future.

This entry doesn't have a super happy ending but I do want to say that I've managed to begin work on another novel; one that I intend to finish regardless of the quality of the first  draft. I've also finally managed to go back to that NanoWrimo project with the realization that there were a few good scenes in there, and that once I finish the first draft I will have a very, very rough skeleton of something that could be worked into a not-terrible story.

If you feel like it, let me know your thoughts with a comment. Have you struggled to find an artistic outlet? Do you think that, in the near future, you could finally take a step that you've been putting off?