I published Malevolent Flesh in the summer of 2017 which was soon followed by a short story.
By this point, I was in full momentum with three complete outlines already written. All I needed to do was select one and I would be ready to begin work on the next project.
This didn’t happen.
As life would have it, things changed very dramatically and as such, threw the next few months into a dizzying sense of numbness and chaos.
Needless to say, it is these personal tragedies that burn beneath our skin and impact every part of our daily lives, whether we realise it or not. Sometimes, writing offers solitude from the devastation – a place to release the demons and slay them on the page.
Sometimes however, it does not.
In my case, I struggled to find the words or the ability to create something.
There were moments where I revisited the outlines I had so carefully plotted but they weren’t the stories I wanted to tell.
Something had changed.
I didn’t have the right story anymore and this instilled a sense of panic.
What if I never found the right story?
I pulled myself together earlier this year and composed some blog posts and copy. Writing for other people was much easier, writing for myself – less so.
Despite this, I began to formulate an idea. Though, not a completely original concept, nonetheless it stirred something within me. It was to be a story as told through short character-driven monologues. It was something with substance and I clung on to it for dear life. It seemed that finally, while for months submerged in a deep abyss, I had found my oxygen tank. The problem with oxygen tanks is that they aren’t limitless and when you take that last breath, you either need to find another one or accept your fate.
The idea was only developed slightly. I’d managed to get some words down but I was unable to delve any deeper. It felt like a return to the ominous SQUARE ONE was imminent.
Except, it wasn’t. I should’ve known that process tends not to work in straight lines. Think of it as loops and cartwheels instead.
It had been a tough year and there were many moments where I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next.
And I still don’t.
But I learned a great deal. Life still continues and with life comes everything else, including writing and the bits in between. We’re not born with the ability to process trauma, it will always find a way to remind us that our stay on this little planet is short. We must learn from this and for the writer, or the artist, or the creator or whatever provides your drive to keep trying to make sense of this existence, we tuck it into our tool-belt and we wear it and we use it. It gives us something special –
A new appreciation of life.
Through it all, I’ve developed a new perspective. A new way of seeing the world and accepting its flaws. Writing can be challenging sometimes, especially when you’re faced with extenuating circumstances but if we allow, it can also teach us things. It may feel like a slog. Even a chore sometimes but there’s a reason we do it and we just have to trust that the reason doesn’t necessarily need to introduce itself, instead we acknowledge its existence and we let it in with wide-open arms.
Drew Forest is a writer/blogger with over a decade of writing experience. He has provided content for small businesses and writers in a variety of different areas. With a strong passion for the written word, he has self published, edited and marketed several five-star rated novels as well as providing content for online businesses and authors.