Every writer is on their journey with their craft. As easy as it is to compare our journey to others, it’s not productive. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. When I look back at my writing journey, I notice that I’ve focused on my writing in phases.
Getting Serious About Writing
My journey truly began in 2007, where I wrote solidly for about 2 years before it fell to the back burner. I picked it up again in 2012, where I spent about a year and a half of very serious work with it.
Outside of those periods, I’d write periodically, but nothing too serious. It’s those two periods of time before I began my author journey online in 2018, that stand out as being my strongest time in writing. Sometimes I would beat myself up about not spending more time on it. I’d feel guilty about it.
In 2018, I took my writing journey online. That’s when I started my author accounts, connected with the writing community, participated in NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNo, and, most of all, did lots of writing.
It felt really good to get back into it and be serious about it again. It was also the first time I connected with other writers. That added a whole new layer to my journey as it held me accountable and allowed me to learn from other writers and grow.
Phasing Out Unintentionally
I can’t pinpoint exactly when, but my strong writing streak fizzled out. It was around the beginning of this year and, truthfully, it’s because life just took over.
It’s funny because one would think that quarantine life would allow me more time to write. And believe me, I felt very guilty not being able to spend time writing. But I was one of the lucky ones who kept my job through it all.
Not only was I busy with work, but I was also pregnant and I have a toddler. Life was wild! I only had the energy to tend to my family and my work. My writing was the last thing on my mind. Even when I would try to think about writing, nothing came. My creative juices were zapped.
Giving Myself Grace
I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel guilty not writing. I felt a little bit like a failure. It wasn’t until recently that I thought about it and realized I had to give myself some grace.
Writing in phases is normal for me. I’ve done it before and I’m sure I’ll do it again. As much as I would love for writing to be more of a primary focus in my life, it can’t be. I have a family that comes first, and will always come first. I need to make money and since I’m not getting that from writing, I have a job. And I love my job!
It’s okay for my writing to lag behind a little bit. It doesn’t mean I’ll stop writing. It doesn’t make me a bad writer. It just means that I’m not only a writer.
I know that this is just a phase for me. I know it won’t last long. I can already feel myself starting to get that creative energy back. In the last few years, I’ve found myself more determined than ever to pursue this dream. I know that I’ll pick back up sooner rather than later this time around.
Embrace Your Journey
No matter what your journey looks like, you have to remember that it’s your own. Your writing journey will be different from other writers. That’s okay. After all, your life is different from other writers, too. There is no one-size-fits-all writer. All you can do is make your writing fit into your life.
Forgive yourself for it. Don’t feel pressured by it. Besides, forcing the writing to come often does more harm than good. You need to let the creative juice flow how it will. All that matters is that you try.