Writing is most definitely a skill. You write daily – at least, that’s the intention – and over time you become better at it. Even editing gets easier; the whole process speedier.
Persist with your practise a little longer, and eventually you find your own writing style. Something magical happens and you “sound like” you on the page.
It all sounds so romantic – and it is! When ^this^ happens, it’s the most wonderful feeling! This year I’ve fallen back in love with writing; I’m completely and utterly enamoured of it.
But like anything worth having, writing doesn’t always come easily.
Thus far I’m proud to have published here at least once a week. Oftentimes, I’ve simply shared a story around my weekly gratitudes, but I’ve kept my promise to myself – and you, my readers.
Regular posts have arisen naturally – I’m not holding myself to any publishing schedule. I haven’t needed to do so.
Writing itself makes me happy. It’s when I feel most connected with my “authentic self”; a “woo-woo” way of saying the version of me that feels most myself. Whether here on this blog, behind-the-scenes on my Google Drive, or on a scruffy piece of paper stuffed into my backpack, writing is how I sort through the contents of my mind. It slows down my thinking and brings me a sense of peace.
If that weren’t motivation enough, then there’s you – the reader. Sharing my story has created opportunities for connection that might otherwise have gone amiss. Relationships have grown – or in some cases, been rekindled – as a result of a single moment during which I felt brave enough to share Project HeatherED with the world. A world which, albeit, small, has grown exponentially, thanks to the power of the written word.
Which goes some way to explain my frustration of late at losing my publishing mojo. If you’re following along, you’ll likely be aware that I’m mid-mental meltdown. Held firmly by anxiety, and it’s close companion, depression, I’m not in the best frame of mind for making creative decisions. Writing – at least, writing for eyes other than my own – is its own challenge.
This beloved blog has therefore become something of a struggle. It feels like my broken brain is trying to break my heart, too, by keeping me from what brings me joy. I’m increasingly irritated when words won’t come, which ironically only makes things worse.
Like Keiko cat, I’m chasing my tail and getting nowhere quickly.
So after much internal debate, I’ve decided to give myself a bit of a break. Lift the pressure off. Like I said earlier, I’m not technically committed to regular publishing days or times, but I’m subconsciously setting standards. My perfectionist tendencies don’t need publication schedules to hold me to a habit. Used to writing weekly, my mind makes anything “other” feel like a failure.
Which is why I’m making a conscious decision not to publish here for the next month.
I recognise my need for clear boundaries if my brain is to relax, rest, and recover. Enforcing recovery, in a way, I hope will give me space and time recharge my mental batteries.
To do the actual work of recovery, rather than trying too hard to record the process as it happens.
It’s kind of missing the point, don’t you think?!
At the same time, I’ve literally just gone back to work. Five half-days, to be exact. I’m on “staged return”, which means I’m currently working part-time because my mental health issues leave me physically and emotionally drained. It takes a lot of energy to recover – yet another good reason to take it easy on myself.
And so I’m pressing pause on publishing posts. Just for a moment. I’ll take a few breaths, regroup, and come back better than before. I’ve a sneaking suspicion that, having decided to step back, my brain will step up a gear and find its way back to itself. I hope so. I’m kind of counting on it.
Because I love writing. Truly, I’m head-over-heels with the whole process! Beyond the mental peace writing brings, I’m creating honest, open-hearted connections with like-minded people like you. My world is bigger and brighter as a result.
Anyone who reads this blog will know how much it matters to me. It matters too much for me to ruin its magic by forcing myself to write when words aren’t forthcoming.
Which is why I’m hoping you’ll bear with me whilst I focus on recovering my mental health.
In the meanwhile, subscribe for my email updates by entering your address in the box at the top right of this page. You’ll be the first to know whenever there’s a new post on Project HeatherED. I’d also love you to connect with me over on Facebook.
I’ll be back soon to share more stories!