I Took a Break From Writing to Fall in Love Again
Lessons learned from stepping away from my craft.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Ever been away from a lover and felt the ache in your heart? It's a physical sensation, a palpable pull in the core of your being. I used to get that feeling about writing. I couldn’t wait to get my stories out.
I was feeling love before I knew what it was. Love doesn't require a living being. In fact, writing was my first love, yet the magic was fading, and I had lost my butterflies.
Things were getting too systematic. I kept replaying the same motions, and I started to experience deja vu almost daily.
It's different when you're writing from a burning ember of passion—the goal of expression and not recognition. Becoming untethered to the true meaning behind what you do is terrifying. I was floating; I needed to feel my feet on the ground again. So I stepped away.
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
While I was away, I wanted to find beauty in life to write about when I returned. I tried to pay attention to the various colors in nature. I literally would stop to smell the roses.
21 Days Away
Twenty-one days of walks in the afternoon sun, slowly, with my mind on the soles of my feet connecting to the earth. I would take in deep breathes with the idea of renewing myself, exhale with the thought of letting go.
I spent three weeks meditating, journaling, and watching my emotions. I wanted to recalibrate my value meter. The longer I stayed in this relaxation cycle, the more I noticed how much society was influencing what I saw as successful, and thus, changing my writing.
"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled.
For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers."
-M. Scott Peck
This sounds like a fever dream, but the anxiety that comes with being unsure of the path you're taking can be debilitating. Not only was I uncertain of myself, but I wanted to control every aspect of my work. I had my writing in a chokehold, and it showed. Sometimes a little space is needed for things to fall into place.
Ironically when I stepped away, I got the most significant writing opportunity of my life. Something I had been pining for, for years. By the time the opportunity arose, I was ready and hungry to write again (you can read this project below). My creativity had the chance to replenish.
I've heard writers described as being sponges of the world around them. When they write, they let it all out in different characters, in street signs, in coffee shops. I needed the time to take in and not continuously give. I was pouring from an empty cup. I had no more ink to bleed.
It can be hard to ignore the demands of hustle culture. No breaks, full throttle, or you simply don't care enough. I'm starting to learn to let my experiences guide my writing. I never want that excitement in my core to die. I always want to write from the burning ember. For that, sometimes reflection and time away is the only remedy. Now I’m ignited again, and ready to soak up as much life as I can to share with you.
Thank you for reading! If you can relate, drop me a like and find me on Instagram @awriterwhodraws, I’d love to hear what resonated for you!
thank you so much for your time; I’ll talk to you soon.