I have a confession to make as a graduate of a Creative Writing course, long-time wanna-be author and general lover of words:
I have fallen out of love with writing.
This isn’t just post-novel burn out or anything like that, it has been a slow process and something I have fought and fought but, ultimately lost against.
I still adore the written word, I love to read and immerse myself in the writing of others. I still love discovering new (and old) words and how they sound and feel to say in my mouth and the pictures they create in my head. I still love to talk about the art and craft of writing and the skills involved. I still get The Rage at badly written things and have the odd grammar-nazi fit and get excited about writing-related things.
I just don’t particularly want to write myself.
I find it a bit of a chore. A drag. I don’t want to do it and when I do try to it feels forced and the results are stilted.
I don’t mind the odd dabble – like the short pieces I do for Writer’s Club once a month and the odd poem or short short story that pops into my head, but I don’t have the urge to do it every day and the promise I made to myself to finish the novel I started for NaNoWriMo by April is feeling like a weight around my neck. I keep opening it up, looking at it, reading a bit and then shutting it again.
I will finish it, I’m taking a break from ploughing through it right now to write this, but then that’s it. I’m hanging up my pen. Novels are not for me.
For now, even short stories aren’t for me. I’m just not feeling it and if you don’t feel what you are writing, then it shows and I don’t want that.
I used to write for the love of writing, now I write because I feel like I have to because everyone else expects me to because that’s what I’ve always done.
It’s no fun that way.
So I give up. I am holding my hands up and saying ‘I’m done’ before it goes so far that I start to resent it. I don’t want to resent it, I want to still be able to go and play with it and have fun when the mood takes me and at the moment I’m so close to losing that.
So I will battle to the end of my first draft of Faerie or No so that I can say that yes, I once wrote a whole novel, and then I will leave my writing to my blog and Writer’s Club and see how things go from there.
My heart is heavy writing all of this, like I am saying goodbye to a friend or closing the door on a chapter of my life but I know it’s what I need to do. I will throw myself back into reading and I’m rediscovering cross-stitching again which is filling the gap a bit.
My life has changed and so have I – my writing never managed to keep up, even though I tried to hold on to it.
Falling out of love is a lot harder than falling into it. Even when the majority of people involved are fictional – their stories aren’t going to make it out of my head and I feel like I owe them all an apology.
Maybe this is that apology.
As well as a goodbye.