On writing and feeling lost

ON WRITING and feeling lost

It’s hot. The muggy air is like a heavy weight. Pressing down on my thoughts. Stifling them, slowing them.

I have written nothing of any real substance for weeks. That makes me frustrated.

Sad.

A little voice in the back of my mind is whispering why do you write this blog, would anybody notice if you just stopped?

Which is self-pitying, self-indulgent nonsense. Because I write this blog for me. Right?

It would be more accurate if the whispering said why do you write this blog, why don’t you stop?

The words just won’t come.

I’ve stopped The Prompt for the summer, it was getting harder and harder to find the right words, and I needed a break.

I’ve taken so many steps back from blogging, no linking, no reading, no commenting: I may as well be on a different planet.

I’m watching everyone else through an increasingly frosted window.

And, I don’t know what to do.

I love this blog. It has given me so much. It saved me when I needed saving; gave me purpose, gave me friends, gave me a hobby.

But it also took a lot. Time, energy, focus.

I find myself at a crossroads. Is this a parenting blog? Is it about me? What is the story I’m telling?

Is it a story I want to tell?

I want to find a positive note to end this on, but I’m struggling to find it.

So, I’m going to stop.

I have a few things scheduled, and I have my ongoing photography projects (they don’t need me to find the words). That will do.

I’m due back with a new prompt on 28th August; it is my hope that I will be here, with some of these questions answered. A new direction, a re-brand perhaps?

In the meantime, I need to stop.

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40 thoughts on “On writing and feeling lost”

  1. Hi Sara

    I hope you’re OK. Sending you good vibes, and sweet strength, because there’s so much to do and sometimes you just have to stop. I’ve actually written a poem about that. I think it was inspired by you.

    I will miss your posts while you take a break. They give me gentle inspiration, both through the prompt (which always ticks around inside my mind, stirring up ideas, even if I don’t manage to share anything), or through reading some of the other things you’ve inspired, or indeed, through your own pieces. Sometimes I feel like I’m just following your lead, but I think it inspires me to my own creativity. Jena Schwartz calls herself a Promptress. It’s a useful and important thing to be. And it’s not all that you are.

    By the way, worrying about whether what you do is worthwhile is not self indulgent, it’s a useful part of an auditing process, and you’re doing the right thing in getting some distance. You’re not failing. Also you could do something really self indulgent – ice cream? prosecco with friends? dye your hair green? (that one might just be me).

    I wrote a poem inspired by something you used as a prompt, but I didn’t share it. It was too true. Too close. Too fail-y. But you’ve reminded me of it here with your steps back and your frosted glass. You sound disassociated. You sound depressed. I was. My poem was imagining my sense of fun as one of those lights on the dashboard where you’re not sure if it’s got something wrong with it, or it’s just dodgy electrics (again, this might just be my car that’s the issue). I pondered on whether my fun had come loose. I felt like I was trapped in a car watching other people have fun, and although I should have been out there with them, I just couldn’t go. Shrouded in stiffening silence.

    In that poem I wrote that I knew I should do something about the situation, but I was scared that if I rattled it or shoogled it, it might fall apart.

    You are braver than me. You’ve shared how you’re feeling. I floundered for a bit (and part of me is still floundering), and then someone suggested something tiny I could do that might help. That tiny thing is different all the time. I don’t claim to know what yours is.

    But I hope you can forgive yourself for not working for a while, and cherish the time with your family. Step out from behind your frosted glass. Your way forward will come clear if you make some space to see it.

    Whatever your next steps, I am hugely grateful that you have done The Prompt, introduced me to lots of interesting, and lovely people, and helped me be a better poet…

    I was just wondering if there is any way I can pay you, or buy you a coffee or something. You know, if you moved The Prompt to Patreon, and I could subscribe I would.

    Thank you. Take care. And let me know how I can buy you an icecream.

    1. Sara | mumturnedmom

      Oh Cara, when I first read this comment I burst into tears. Thank you so much for your lovely words, and your amazing insight. You have picked up on a lot that is behind the words. I would love to read that poem some day. And the offer of ice cream – I’ll hold you to that and the next time I’m in Edinburgh for a holiday I’ll come west for an afternoon, it would be wonderful to have that ice cream in real-life. I’ll be back with The Prompt, I’d miss it too much, and the lovely group that links up :) Thank you again lovely x

  2. Oh sweetheart, please don’t stop. This is just a temporary lull, it will come back to you. Stick with it. Pen x #thetruthabout

  3. Oh you have to take those out, if you need to – it’s a must.
    I’ve always been attracted to your words, the power you have and the mastery you so manage to portray. But you must do what’s right for you, and if it means taking time out then you have to. I hope you find what it is you’re looking for, your inspiration.I and you kick back this summer.

  4. Oh Sara, there’s so much in this post, and I sense so much behind the words too. Its another one of those times where I so want to meet you for coffee and a big chat, or perhaps a walk and a big chat – I’m massively into walks in the countryside with friends at the moment, they seem to fulfil a need of mine for space and breathing room but sociability and proper human connection too. And I think that’s part of the appeal of blogging that I think both you and I feel – the wanting to connect, the sociable aspects as well as the introspective, pondery ones. And all of that is ok. Looking inwards and examining your motives is a really healthy thing to do and not pure self-indulgence. I think, depending on how you’re wired, it’s an important part of self-care. So let yourself be as you are and take some time and don’t pressure yourself to try and fit any sort of mould. It’s good that you’ve decided to stop for a bit. Don’t make yourself start again unless you really want to. And feel free to post in our #WhatImwriting group (which you’re always welcome in, regardless of blogging) or message me if you want a chat. Thanks for linking to #whatImwriting. Have a lovely summer xxx

    1. Sara | mumturnedmom

      Thank you so much Maddy, the support from this group means so much to me. And, yes, this is one of those times when I really wish I was closer to you all. I also think you’re right, I’m in need of a bit more proper human contact! Life gets too busy sometimes and I don’t prioritise that enough. I feel the need of a re-focus, I want to write but I don’t feel comfortable with the ‘parenting blog’ label anymore. But, I don’t really know what that means!! But, I need to work that out before I really start again x

  5. I completely understand these thoughts. Although I still love blogging and feel inspired most of the time the sheer amount of time you have to spend promoting just to get it seen by a small number of people (in my case!) can be soul destroying. I have to keep reminding myself it’s not about the numbers and that I do it for me, but it’s hard sometimes.

    Whatever you decide to do will be right for YOU xxx #thetruthabout

    1. Sara | mumturnedmom

      Ah yes, it is soul destroying, and takes up such a ridiculous amount of time. I’m three and a half years into this, so I’m less (most of the time anyway!) concerned about the numbers now, they are what they are, good days and bad. BUT of course I want people to read, because if we didn’t want that, we’d just keep a diary, wouldn’t we!

  6. Sometimes stopping something is actually a very positive thing (although there may be grief around the process of stopping the ‘something’). And that’s okay too, and I hope you get a chance to process it and make sense of it all. I sense an undercurrent of sadness in your post. Perhaps it’s just to do with the stopping, or maybe something else. I don’t know. But I hope the break from the blogging will give you much needed refreshment. Sometimes, us writers/creative mamas DO need to take a break from the writing (or blogging) or creating, and in the quiet time of simply being present in the real world we regain clarity and peace and soul-refreshment, and it is THEN that the words come again. Anyway, sending much love. xx

    1. Sara | mumturnedmom

      Thank you Marija, I think the sadness is linked to the need for direction, which I am lacking at the moment. I really hope that taking a break from it all will help me re-focus and work out what I want to do next x

  7. I really feel for you. If it helps I took around 9 months away from my blog. I hadn’t made my mark and didn’t know why I was blogging. I had to wait for the desire and the love to come back and I’ve not regretted it since. It will be a real shame if you decide mot to continue and I really hope you find the words that you have lost. If you do come back you have to make me join the prompt I have been trying to convince myself to join in for so long.
    Wishing you a lovely break and look forward to catching up after the summer #whatimwriting

    1. Sara | mumturnedmom

      Thank you Tracey, I think (hope) I just need a break to get some perspective and clarity on where I go next. I’m increasingly uncomfortable with the ‘parenting blog’ label as I write less and less about the kids as they get older, so I feel the need of a re-brand! I fully intend to be back with that prompt at the end of August and I will encourage you to join in :)

  8. I was given a piece of advice when I was younger that I have found invaluable “If you don’t know what to do – do nothing” (not forever of course). I often repeat this mantra to myself and then slowly but surely the answer comes. Taking a break is often a very positive thing, it seems that lots of bloggers take a big chunk of the summer off to recharge and re-evaluate. I’m intending to do this in much of August. Good luck with working out what you would or wouldn’t like to do about future blogging. Sending you positivity :) #whatimwriting

    1. Sara | mumturnedmom

      I think that’s very sensible advice, sometimes you need to completely stop before you can work out how to start again. August is always a quiet month, so I’m going to use the time to re-focus and get some clarity. Thank you for the positivity and luck xx

  9. I think that somehow with time we change as bloggers and we start to question what we’re doing and how we’re doing it and whether any of it matters to anyone. Well it matters to us and at the same time it doesn’t matter if we give it a break. Writing is something you (and I!) love but it can’t be forced the way sometimes authoring a blog makes us feel it must be. Lots of people seem to take a break over the summer anyway I find so it’s no bad thing. Enjoy a bit of downtime Xx #thetruthabout

    1. Sara | mumturnedmom

      You’re right, there does seem to be a 3/4 year itch! At least I don’t feel alone in that respect :) Blogging is such a ‘constant’ exercise, it leaves little time for evaluating, and I need a bit of time for that. A big thing for me is that I don’t feel like I really write a parenting blog anymore, but I’m not sure how to ‘brand’ what I do write… I need a break to get some clarity on that.

  10. Well you know I can well and truly relate to this lovely and I don’t blame you for taking a break. Scaling back has helped meand I’m now just writing when I want to rather than because I feel I have to, which helps but I do frequently wonder what the point of it is! Xx

    1. Sara | mumturnedmom

      I know you do! This has been swirling around in my head and I needed to write it down to stop the swirling. I actually feel better already x

  11. Wow I could have written this myself. I am struggling to find the words at the moment, and I’m unsure about the direction I’m going. I never quite know where my posts fit in, what kind of blog I am writing.
    It’s funny, because I came here to join the prompt for the first time, hoping it would inspire me over the summer to actually write, to find that you are taking a break for the same things that have been troubling me.

    Hope you enjoy your summer and come back feeling energised and ready to write once more x

    1. Sara | mumturnedmom

      Thank you Lauren. I’m sorry you’re struggling at the moment, I hope you find a way through too. The Prompt will be back at the end of the summer, I’ll let you know when it starts up again, it would be lovely to have you join in. Hope you’re having a lovely summer x

  12. So sorry to read this, but I can definitely relate! My 5 year blogoversary is approaching and I’m already composing the words in my head. And I know it will be a bit downbeat. I still love writing and the words do still come, but less people read them. A lot of the blogs I used to enjoy reading are no more, or are posting a lot less. Times have definitely changed and I haven’t changed with them!
    Here’s hoping you’re back feeling inspired in a few weeks. And if you’re not? Well it wasn’t meant to be!

    1. Sara | mumturnedmom

      Thank you Sarah. I do feel that the community has changed a bit over the last year or so, especially for us oldies! I’ve found myself interacting less, and I’m not as active in commenting as I was (although I still read). I’m enjoying the break, and I’m still hopeful that when I come back to it in September I’ll be refreshed, but honestly, I’m not sure yet whether that will be the case x

  13. I’m sorry you feel like this. It seems everyone I come into contact with is suffering in some way at the moment. Giving yourself time and space will hopefully bring things into context for you.
    However, I just wanted to say that the writing in this post was beautiful and heartfelt – a real voice – and a pleasure to read. Well done.
    I have subscribed and hope to hear from you when you feel the time is right.

  14. I completely get this. I think it’s a natural crossroad. 3.5 years is a very long time and life changes so much in that time too. I’ve been blogging almost 6 years now and whilst I still love writing I find myself thinking of new things now which don’t quite fit into my current blog. I’ve taken a huge step back recently and can’t seem to step forward again. I think summers a brilliant time to reflect on it all. Hope you’re able to do all your thinking and decision making over the lovely days off xx

    1. Sara | mumturnedmom

      I wonder if we worry too much about whether things ‘fit’… I find that I have so many ideas, but I often worry that they don’t quite fit a ‘parenting’ blog. Perhaps the answer is to re-brand in some way… Or to just write whatever we want! Assuming we can find the time, which is a big part of the problem :)

  15. I think a lot of people have been feeling similar recently. Whether it’s kids getting older and less relevance to what they want to write, to just a change of direction, or time out for family first.

    Enjoy the break, hopefully see you on social media and fingers crossed you’ll be back after the summer or later.

    1. Sara | mumturnedmom

      Thank you Emma, I think it’s a mix of all those things to be honest. I’ll be back, but perhaps in a slightly different form!

  16. I know the feeling. I’ve been struggling to find the words for a few months now. My posts have been fewer and further between, just ‘essential’ posts, just photo posts, just short ones.
    I hope you find the break helps though.

  17. I’ve been rather quiet for the last month or more and stopped by for a catch up. After reading this the word that came to my mind is synchronicity. I love blogging but am unable at the moment to keep up with the pace or workload it can involve. On the other hand I’m still not ready to walk away from it. Will look forward to your return late Summer xx

    1. Sara | mumturnedmom

      Yes, I can understand that completely, I love blogging but I’m just finding it very hard to find the time to focus on it properly. I’m hoping that taking the summer off refreshes me and I come back, inspired, in September! Have a lovely summer Kriss xx

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