Let’s be honest, it’s been months that I’m in a writing slump. The beginning of 2021 was fire though : I published my collection of poems, wrote the first draft of what would be either the first part of a novel or the first volume of a two-volume series and started writing the second part / second novel, finally set the perfect outline for my collection of short stories and wrote the first draft for two stories, started working on the volume 2 of my poetry series…
But then, June came.
I’m not here to display my private life, but I’m only sharing this so you can have a timeline of how the writing slump found a home with me.
At the end of May, my uncle died. His funeral was on May 31st and so I entered June in a particular mindset. Where I had managed to share in my poems joys and little happiness of everyday life up until now, darkness all came back, because I could only write about that : grief, pain, loneliness. And where it used to fuel my writings when I was a teenager… now it was holding me back. I didn’t want my works to be tainted by this, so I ended up not writing anymore, at least not for my projects. A few poems were still born out of it, but I just… wasn’t in the ‘mood’ anymore.
I had found a balance between happiness and sadness, and it was the perfect combination for my writing. I was so happy I could write so much. But since June, it all fell down.
I tried to take it easy, I tried to focus on my translation projects, I didn’t want to think about it too much. Then summer came, I tried to go on a week-end getaway, I went to visit my sister for 2 weeks by the sea, thinking it would all help me unwind and finally let go. I had the feeling I was keeping myself prisoner by not writing.
And actually, it kind of worked. Not perfectly of course, but it did something. I took lots of pictures of nature, I fully enjoyed the beach, being able to swim in the sea and enjoying the sun on my skin. I felt more alive, a little bit more free.
When I went back home, I felt better. I started to write more poems, I managed to write poems that were not related to grief or pain, which was a huge step. I felt like I could write again. So I started very small. I gave myself some tiny objectives : “write 500 words this week”, then “write 1000 words this week”. It worked for a few weeks, but then somehow I gave up again.
The thing was, I was ready to write, but I had been away for so long that I was not sure what I had already written or not. For my short stories, some were left unfinished because I was not sure where this was going, how to end the story.
I managed to keep writing poetry through it all, fortunately. At least, there was that.
I’m quite old school when it comes to editing. When I was a teenager, I loved to print my drafts to edit it. But now I’m an adult and I think… “argh, this is going to take all the ink from the printer” haha ! But at this point, I think I still have to do this. I don’t know about you, but it feels so much better to me to read my drafts on paper and being able to put notes with a pen. I feel like I see the bigger picture more easily than when I’m just staring at a screen ! I also feel like I notice mistakes much more easily too.
October is starting and this is where I am. The need to write came back, I fiercely want to write because I have all these feelings bottled up and ready to spill, but first I need to read everything I’ve written so far to be sure that I’m writing in the right direction if I may say.
A few days ago, a sister of my grandmother passed away. My grandma died when I was a kid, so her sister was the closest to being my second grandma, I loved her dearly. She always supported me and my unconventional choices, because she had been like that too when she was young. I’m thinking back on my time with her, and I want to do better, for her.
Her funeral is today.
I will print and start editing my work afterwards. And I will write. I have to make her proud.
After all, writing is an emotional process. A part of us. It’s only normal that it fluctuates, as we go through ups and downs in life. I know I will always come back to writing, since it is my lifeline.
What about you ? How do you overcome a writing slump ? Does your personal life impacts your writing routine ?
I hope you all have a lovely day, and see you next Wednesday !