It always takes me days or even months before I can finally sit down and write something I believe is worthwhile to read. But even as I sit here in my seminar, listening to my lecturer who is attempting to teach but also motivate the class to keep writing, nothing seems to be going past my eardrums and into my brain. The funniest thing is, nearly everyday I’ve told myself, ‘Sarah you’ll produce an article today for Women Make Waves!‘ But, by the end of the day I find myself looking at the keys on my laptop and shrug thinking, “There’s always tomorrow.”
Nothing seems to be interesting or worthy of discussion anymore, yet I find myself reading, for example, an article in Cosmopolitan and thinking to myself, ‘That was interesting, I could have written that.’ What would you even call this sad phase that I’m going through? It’s definitely more than a writers block, it’s almost like I’ve come to the edge of this beautiful cliff, full of words and literary influences and I’m involuntarily about to slip of the cliff without the will to stay.
How do you manage to process and handle the fact that the thing you enjoyed for years on end, just doesn’t seem that important or as ‘fun’ to you anymore? What do you do then? Many seconds, minutes, hours and days have been wasted and used for this interest of mine, that I thought I was going to pursue a career in and now look at me! Doubting my capability to produce literally anything that would be thought provoking and interesting.
Don’t get me wrong, once in a while I read things that spring back my motivation – Gone Girl (written beautifully by the way), Scott McCloud ‘Reinventing Comics’ and so forth, but then it makes me reflect on my own writing, then the self-reviewing questions arise: ‘Why can’t I write like that?’ ‘I do have the ability to write like this, why don’t I?’ ‘If I have some amazing writing talent hidden deep, right about now is the time to come out!’
It’s really weird. Some may call me a perfectionist, I’d call it tough-love. If I know I can produce better work, why should I settle for mediocre? Just now, this minute, I read a students work about originality; I will not tell a lie, I was enthralled and simply amazed at how he executed and structured his thoughts about reflection. It actually made me have a good think about originality and the questions posed about how original can we truly be?
But shortly after those thoughts, I began thinking about myself and my own writing. Like honestly, if there are so many talented individuals in the world (like my fellow student) who can write like that, it makes me question where my place lies within the writing world? What can I offer the people that they haven’t been offered before? What makes me different compared to everyone else? What even makes you different to everyone else?
And as these simple questions run through my mind, I can feel my dreams and hopes slowly shatter into a million pieces. I then see myself on the edge of that very cliff again, filled with writers, literary influences, once-in-a-lifetime novels, words… everything and I see myself slipping off that cliff. But this time I imagine myself falling off with glee – I’m no longer thinking about trying to stay at the edge of the cliff, or just on the cliff in general, I’m wondering about what I may find when I finish free falling. Will it be a whole new line of interest? A new hobby that I’ll eventually pursue and turn into a job? Something I can make money out of? Or will it be nothing? Will I fall into an abyss of no new ideas?
I hope not, because I’m still trying to find myself. And even after writing this commentary, in a weird way, I feel better, almost refreshed and in a cliche way I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, because even if I don’t know where my next step will be, establishing that early is better than doing it late in my life. There’s never a bad time to turn around and pick a new career.
The thoughts of a young female.