A couple of times lately I’ve stopped running for a short period to rest up after a slight injury. Both times I’ve then felt really tired and so missed further exercise, until I had to make a real effort to get going again. It eventually dawned on me that the sequence isn’t that lack of energy leads to no exercise, but that no exercise leads to lack of energy that then develops into a vicious circle.
The trouble is, if I stop exercising for a short while I start feeling rough and lethargic. If I get going on the exercise again quickly I soon feel a lot better, but I know if I left it for too long I’d be left feeling bad with the memory of the pleasures of exercise fading fast and wondering what the problem is.
I’ve a nasty feeling (or it might actually even be hope!) that this is what’s happened with writing. I enjoy writing. I get pleasure from it. And yet it’s so long since I’ve been active that the immediate memory has faded, leaving me peering into a void with no real understanding of where it came from and what I need to do to get over it.
I’ve always made up stories. I’ve played with characters and situations and entertained myself, going over the stories again and again, strengthening the characters, working on the phrasing – but at first they were never written down. Then I moved into fanfiction, and continued doing what I’d always done but this time writing them down for other people. Now I’m making the jump of creating and playing with my own characters, and I’m finding it tough, to the point where it’s stressing me out and I’m avoiding the page. I’m just not sure what I’m missing, what’s going wrong.
With nanowrimo approaching fast, I’m hoping to blast past that and get going again. Maybe when I’m back writing regularly I’ll once again learn how much of a pleasure writing is, and I’ll grow to miss it if I stop, rather than just having a vague feeling that something is missing. And then I need to get going again before it gets to the point where I’ve stopped for too long and lost the thread.
After all, what do I do when I start feeling stressed or worried? I reach for my words, even though in that case they’re non-fiction rather than fiction. I put things down and try to work them out on the page. And I guess that means that deep down I am a writer.