While working on my new creative endeavor, I had a thought about a personalized project. Something that will shed light on the ideas, obstacles and daily struggles someone in my position my face. What do I mean by “someone in my position?” you ask? Let me take a moment and explain for those of you new to my blog!
My constant companions and greatest teachers is clinical depression, which I was diagnosed with 6 years ago, as well as having generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks.. It has been a very long, hard fought journey and I found bottom at least three times, which is a very dark and lonely place. Climbing back to a new “normal” is where I learned the most about myself and where the healing began. Depression and I may never be best friends s but it is always there with me and I have learned to respect it and recognize when I am close to edge. One of my hopes in this blog and writing experience is to not only help others but heal unknown wounds within myself.
I have written poetry since I was 14 years old, it was my escape and my voice as I was a quiet and timid girl who did not feel her voice was heard or even important.. Poetry has flowed from me like water in a deep river and my dream was to always be published but to a mind that constantly doubts, second guesses and feels inadequate that dream seemed unreachable. Since I could remember I have wanted to publish and have people read and purchase my work, even though I secretly felt I was not good enough. Constant bouts of “writer’s block”, self-doubt and dry spells have made me turn away from the one thing I had loved and used as a tool for self-expression and healing.
Although I loved and still do love poetry, both reading and writing I thought if I could challenge myself and write a short story that I would be able to somehow break through the blocks and get my name into the writing world. For those of you who have followed me, you knoe “The Antique House” was my first short story attempt and I published it as an e-book. It really stretched me out emotionally and creatively as I fought with the inner voice of depression and self doubt, saying “You are not good enough, no one will buy it or read it!” Which is why I choose not to focus right now on sales figures (which I know is zero) because fear of rejection can be crippling and I do not want to let the gift I have been given die.
I walked away from writing for a while, even blogging because doubt and insecurity crept over me and took a hold of my gift as I hit a brick wall creatively. I had honestly given up on the ream of breaking into writing and having any sales on my books and then while walking to work (I work as a Personal Support Worker) I came across a house that I am always drawn to and the idea came over me.
Writing seems to be a l ng process for me and the follow through is even lengthier. As an aspiring writer, I find that there are several steps in the process, which include:
- The idea phase – that is always I find the easiest – it happens either as a whisper, a dream or an unexpected thought pop up
- Making time to write – allowing myself “me” time
- Pushing aside fear and allowing words to flow
- Sorting out the puzzle and figuring out the style of medium
- Research, inspiration
- Creating believable characters
- Building the story/poem (hardest and longest part)
- Editing, proof reading, rewriting
- Second guessing and storing (many times I have to sit on a piece that is incomplete and return to it)
- Rewriting if needed
- Finding courage to share my work, words etc.
I could add so many more steps, but I think that my point is made lol. This process is even harder if you do not have a mentor, support system and have a hectic home life. Trying to juggle family and work alone can be a challenge for anyone but trying to balance work, home, dreams and reality can be overwhelming and a but discouraging.
Here is what I do to help keep me grounded and to help the creative juices flowing:
- Go for walk – reconnect with nature (weather permitting)
- Take a hot, bath and allow my mind to unwind
- Search the internet (sounds cliché but sometimes images can spark creativity)
- Read my favorite authors and visualize the story
- If nice outside, take pictures sometimes utilizing other creative aspects helps me rejuvenate as well as saves ideas for new projects
- Finding “me” time whether it is browsing, shopping, spending time with hobbies
It stumps me how an idea can pop into my head and allow me to start a project so easily but this self doubt can kill me part way into the project. I am stuck and although I have attempted several times to work on it today, I cannot squeeze anything out of my mind. It is like I am frozen and this is frustrating and driving me crazy because I can write poetry easily but cannot seem to break past that mold.
For tonight, I put the “baby” (my project) to bed and hope that the muses speak to me tomorrow. I know I will have to make time as this weekend is my weekend to work and sometimes I tend to neglect my routine and shut off the muses as my body tires easier now.