My first post of 2022. It’s been a heck of year already with January seemingly lasting the length of seven months and bringing not only the plague to our house but a raft of other illnesses as well. It ended up a very disjointed month that disrupted exercise, work and other family things. Thankfully, January has cleared off and February is here.
Unsurprisingly, in January my writing struggled. Looking back on it, it’s probably no surprise with everything that went on, but when you’re in the thick of it, it can be hard to get some perspective.
I started a new project on 1st January as is my custom, it’s one I felt pretty good about and I made some decent progress with (at least volume wise) over the first couple of weeks of the month. For some reason, the project just didn’t click. The idea I’d been so jazzed about over Christmas just didn’t light me up when I hit the keyboard and by the time I was about fifteen thousand words into it, I already hated it. It’s not an experience I’m used to – dreading coming to the keyboard and it’s not one I enjoyed, obviously.
I took the difficult decision to scrap it and move on. The idea is a good one, perhaps I just wasn’t writing it from the right perspective or in the right mindset etc. Regardless, I put it on hold. Like most writers, I never delete anything. That’s just daft.
Around this time, I had to isolate due to Covid and perhaps went a little stir crazy. My other love is photography and I’ve been working hard to master composition as well as improve on LightRoom. With writing being frustrating combined with being trapped inside, I wasn’t really excelling at anything. I always push myself creatively to make the most of my time, this writing problem began to affect my mental health. The thought of not being productive is a constant fear of mine.
However, when my Covid isolation period finished, I set out with the camera. I found how amazing it is that a small change of scenery can blow open your whole perspective. Forty minutes outside snapping pictures and I came home with not only some cool pictures to sort out (see below) but also a bunch of story ideas.
I think in my desperation to place a novel and get my name out there that way, I’ve neglected a multitude of shorter ideas. I’ve knowingly pigeonholed myself into writing certain projects. It’s only now that I’ve blasted my mind open with some fresh air, that I can step back and see that.
Anyway, armed with some weird photos and a bunch of ideas, I’ve completed two short stories in the last two weeks and am working on a plan for a longer project.
I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that sometimes we get stuck in a rut, even if it is a highly productive one, and occasionally, a change of perspective – be it a walk in a new park, a trip to the city or whatever it may be, can blow the doors off and open our minds to new ideas.
It’s great to be back at the keyboard with some vigour, it’s even better to be allowed outside again.
Until next time.