Wednesday, 8 March 2023

A year without writing by Keren David

Just over a year ago I signed off on the last edits for my book Say No to The Dress, which was published in April 2022. Normally I'd have had a short break of -  ooh -  three weeks or so, before plunging into a new project.

Not this year. For the first time in more than a decade I had no creative writing projects on the go, and deliberately chose not to start anything. Bereavement, an elderly father, a full time job and a lot of other stuff meant that I needed a break. I wanted to take stock, and work out what, how if I wanted to write again before rushing into more commitments.

What I hoped was that space would open up in my head to generate new ideas. Space did not open up. Instead my head filled with work...with Dad...with anxieties and worries and stress... All the things, in fact, that creative writing often serves to eliminate, 

I also hoped that time would open up, that my life would be more streamlined, that I would exercise more, tidy more, take time for myself. In It turns out that I just carried on as before with wild bursts of activity (Look! I decluttered!) followed by collapsing into an exhausted heap. I watched more television than I have done for years. I completed Duolingo Dutch and switched to French. I don't think a day went by without attempting Wordle, Quordle, Octordle and Secordle, as well as Wordle. I did start doing Pilates. 

I discovered that it's scarily easy to forget the discipline of writing a book, to turn into someone who asks 'how on earth do you find the time' and even 'where on earth do you get ideas?' I had embryonic ideas, but then dithered about how to develop them. Commitment was lacking. Hard graft was impossible.

And now the year of not writing is over, and I have signed up for a small writing project. Will the discipline, the joy come flooding back? Or have I lost my mojo forever? Wish me luck! 


Lynne Benton said...

Good luck, Keren! And remember, "Once a writer, always a writer".

Penny Dolan said...

Wishing you and your project good luck, Keren, and all the determination and time that luck needs alongside of it.