For almost the last three weeks I have been very ill. Something that doesn’t happen often! I was only permitted back to work this Wednesday gone.
It gave me a lot of time to reflect. One thing I realised was that following a ‘family crisis’ that occurs just over 3 years ago, priorities had to change. It was not easy but necessary for all parties involved. It made things exhausting and stressful but looking back I can see those changes where necessary.
Yes I sacrificed my writing because my brain burned out with fatigue so was not in shape to tackle the usually mammoth task of grappling with my numerous subplots. I treated it as a personal failure that I had not written, that I had “given up” writing as it were.
However I see now that was not the case, I made a sacrifice I needed to make to be there during the crisis. And in the end, things are better for it. Now is recovery – even mine.
The difference is almost palpable. Suddenly my mind is filling again with ideas and plots. Before they would shuffle in embarrassed and I would shoo them away. So eventually they only crept up infrequently, when I was driving or distracted.
I wondered if they would ever come back. If I would ever reclaim the title “Writer”. I tried to force it before it was ready and my brain, being smarter than the “voice in my head” refused to give me more than dribbles of scenes and snatches of dialogue.
The illness I have been off with for weeks was probably contracted due to a full mind/body burn out. It also gave me chance to regenerate. Although I am still on my antibiotics and I am still not 100%.
Sometimes we need to step away, maybe for a hour, a day, a month, a year… sometimes longer. The point is knowing when to do that, when you need to. But not to see it as an end, that you will never return. 3 years is a long time to write so infrequently. It has left me uncomfortable, lonely and pushed my anxiety condition into overdrive at times.
But it was necessary.
The Sin and The Promise post I wrote before this has helped, I saw it as a way to ease back in. Have I followed it 100%, no especially with getting ill. But I have done more than I was doing, I have done some of it and it has started the ball rolling.
Step away when you need, the writing will always be there when you return