Last night, the following announcement was made in my house.
I AM GOING UPSTAIRS AND LOCKING MYSELF IN MY BEDROOM. FOR THE NEXT HOUR, PLEASE DO NOT KNOCK ON THE DOOR OR SHOUT THROUGH THE KEYHOLE. NOT EVEN IF YOU NEED TO USE THE BATHROOM. THE ONLY REASON TO ASK ME TO OPEN THE DOOR WOULD BE FOR A FIRE… OR LARGE AMOUNTS OF HUMAN BLOOD.
With that, I ran up the stairs leaving my children in the more than capable hands of my husband. I closed (and locked) the bedroom door and slipped into my PJ’s. With a quick hit to the “writing playlist” and a deep sigh of satisfaction, I finally began to write.
Finally. As in… it’s been months since I even tried to write in peace.
Y’all. It lasted less than three minutes. That’s when my husband started texting me. I am NOT kidding. Granted, it was for a good cause. After almost a year, he finally sold the extra truck that’s been sitting in our driveway. He got his asking price.
(So the next time I lock the family out of my bedroom, the exception list will include fire, human blood, and large sums of cash.)
How did I get here?
After the first year of blogging non-stop, I assumed I had it down. I had figured out my favorite blogging music, knew that I wrote best when still in my PJ’s, and even knew how much coffee it took before the words would flow each morning. I had found my writer’s voice and made it through my first bout of writer’s block. I’d cashed the first check for affiliate income, created my first paid post, and made it past that magical first year milestone.
I never dreamed I’d lose it.
I lost my blogging groove. I lost my writing mojo. I lost my voice, my sense of direction, and all sense of purpose for my writing.
I lost everything except the lingering desire to write.
In short, life happened.
Priorities change. My entire schedule changed. I found myself struggling to string together enough ideas to make a to-do list much less a blog post.
It’s not the first time.
Losing my writing groove was like falling into a big old deep pit. I just had to let myself fall until I hit bottom and bounced a few times. Then I had to sit there and catch my breath before crawling back up out of the pit.
Losing (and regaining) my way as a writer has a LOT in common with some of my other battles. In many ways, it mirrors my battle with depression. From where I sit, it looks a lot like the deep pit of ickiness when I totally lost control of my house and it took months to clean it up. It also looks a bit like the battle to get back in shape and regain my health. It even looks suspiciously like the days when our spending was out of control and our debt was far too high.
As I’ve struggled to regain my writing voice, I’ve thought back to day my mom took me shopping for some new post-baby clothes. I was a brand new stay at home mom with a closet full of office clothes that no longer fit my life or my body. I sat on the dressing room floor and cried because I didn’t know what I wanted to look like.
As a writer, I’ve spent a few weeks (or more) sitting on the dressing room floor in tears.
It’s time to climb.
Specifically, it’s time to climb out of the pit. I can think of no better time that now. Between the “31 day” challenge in October and NANOWRIMO in November, it just feels like the “write” time.
I’ve been planning and working for the past few weeks to get myself mentally ready by my October 1st deadline. I had hoped to identify a really cool topic for the 31day challenge and have half a dozen posts banked on the subject. That would make a great come-back story. That would have bettered my odds of actually posting every day in October.
But um… that didn’t happen.
I haven’t written a single post.
Closing the bedroom door last night wasn’t easy. Writing the first few hundred words was even harder. But at the end of the night, I’d written several thousand words. I had four posts in draft form to show for my efforts.
I can do this.