Freewriting to start off the new year with baby steps

Freewriting seems like a good place to start at the beginning of a new year and when you’re in a slump, doesn’t it? Time to put the fingers to the keys and let her rip. Also I deleted my old blogs, except for my Malamute, Loup's blog. He wouldn't like it if I deleted that even if his blogs are sporadic. Kind of like clearing out the clutter. I had mixed feelings as I did that. Relief mixed with a twinge of sadness. That old me is gone and now I’m someone else who is older, maybe a bit wiser (though I'm not so sure some days) and similar but not the same as yesterday, a constant work in progress.

Something about this time of year puts me in a slump and I need to work hard to get out of it. Perhaps it’s the anticlimax of all the Christmas activity. Maybe it’s the lack of light in the Northern Hemisphere. Or it could be the lack of colour with the monochromatic bare trees and dirty snow that makes me want to forget all about writing and just eat chocolate, Facebook lurk, watch lame chick flicks and hibernate. Menopause doesn’t help either. Oh, and don’t forget to complain about the cold. Hey, I wouldn’t be Canadian if I didn’t complain about winter being too cold, too snowy, and too long. It’s the thing to do!

No one wants to read your writing, the Inner Critic yells. “Who do you think you are anyhow? Don’t you think you’re special writing a blog? Ha! No one will ever read it. You know that, don’t you?” He sits in the corner mocking me. “Give up already,” he says. “There are thousands of more talented writers out there. Why do you think you could compete with them? You’re crazy.”

I’m generally an upbeat, positive person most of the time and I am grateful for my life and all the good stuff. However, there are times when a dark cloud of doom hangs over my head and blocks the sunshine. It takes a lot of work to get myself out of these occasional slumps. Today is that kind of a day and I’m pushing myself to keep my head turned towards the sunshine. Maybe that’s why I enjoy positive quotes and daily affirmations of gratitude. They get my head in the right place for the day.

I tend to worry a lot that my writing is no good and that I’ll never make it. I’ve already been writing for about ten years sporadically and have published some things if that’s how success is measured. I haven't made much money and have forked out thousands over the years for courses, workshops and conferences.

People always say to me. Keep going. Keep it up. You’re almost there. Almost where? I don’t really know where I’m going so doubt I’ll get there. Make goals they say. Keep submitting. Fake it til you make it. You’re off to a good start. Should I be only at the beginning after ten years? Shouldn’t I be further along than this? I often wonder why I’m bothering with this whole writing thing. And yet to give it up completely is unthinkable.

I need to return to the whole reason I started writing in the first place. Not to become famous. Not to become rich. If I was doing it for those reasons, I would have given up by now. It ain’t happenin’. It’s not a road to riches, this writing thing.

I do it to express my tumultuous emotions and make sense out of the world around me. I do it to express my joy and gratitude for the good stuff and to vent when things aren’t going well.  I do it to share with others and to discover our universal humanity, despite our differences. I do my fiction to escape into a world where I'm in control of what happens. I can't always say the same thing for real life.

Writing comforts me when times are tough like when we lost our six day old baby to forceps injuries. Sharing with and supporting other bereaved parents helped me so much and it was the writing that connected us.

I’m afraid this freewriting has become one big whine fest and is certainly not one of my better pieces. The Inner Critic is shaking his head in disgust at me. “Give up, girl,” he says.

I turn to him and give him the finger as I post my first blog post in ages. 

You can’t get rid of me that easily.


  1. Welcome back! And I'm just starting menopause I think. Which makes me feel like I'm looking oul on old grey snow even though it's unusually warm and like march here in NY.

    1. Thanks, Sandra. My, what a pity party that post was. Oh well. Gotta start somewhere. Join the fun with the menopause! I think I am nearly through it but it has been a bit of a roller coaster ride at times. Hope you see the sunshine today instead of the grey.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! Good to be back doing some blogging again. I've missed it.

  3. Keep writing for the joy of it Cathy!! That's what will bring out your best work, I'm sure! Don't give Mr. Inner Critic the upper hand.....he is a liar and is to be ignored!! Enjoy using your gift and try not to measure success in terms of monetary gain, or even others' approval! (Easier said than done, I know). Being creative is an end in itself....we are created to be creative in one way or another...and for you, that means using your music and your writing. Your creativity can be a huge blessing for yourself and for others and it doesn't need a paycheque to be validated!! :)

    1. Thanks so much, Joyce. Appreciate the kind words and wisdom. You know as a creative person about the ups and downs of the creative life. Thanks for commenting.

  4. I'm either menopausal or pregnant. Both ugly. Ugh.

  5. it won't let me post..i will attempt again..WELCOME BACK!

  6. She's baaaack! YAY

    I rather enjoyed your whine fest. I am so in your boat that I feel less alone now!

    1. Thanks, Jo. Glad you feel less alone. Me, too. I do enjoy connecting with fellow writers and blogging is a good way to do it. I'm kind of sporadic and not always regular but I'm going to try to get back at it a bit more regularly than before.


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