I received an email yesterday that made me cry.
Big sobbing, grateful tears.
It arrived completely out of the blue at a low moment.
The miseries had taken hold.
From a sender I didn’t recognise, it would have been easy to dismiss the mail as spam without reading on.
Thankfully I gave it a cursory glance.
Mr X stumbled upon my blog via Twitter and felt compelled to write to me about our mutual love of journalising life.
He has kept a secret diary for years, but doesn’t publish it.
His passion for doing so along with some kind, eloquent words about my own ramblings touched me beyond belief.
It is rare for someone to go so out of their way to privately encourage or praise a complete stranger.
In my world anyway.
And it has made me realise that I need to get out there do it more, rather than just meaning to, or indeed hoping desperately that one day that it happens to me.
“I think you are a wonderful writer. I’m in constant awe of people who are able to communicate and connect so truthfully and courageously. There’s lyrical poetry in the way you write of personal insecurities, anxieties, of heart-wrenching and profound pain, that touched me deeply – and on several counts feel I could identify with.”
I think I need to stick this small extract on my fridge or something.
It made me smile.
But what a tortured soul I am!
Truth be told, I’ve been struggling terribly with my writing recently – feeling directionless, drifting with the tide – bored even.
I’m not sure what my short to medium term goal is.
Or is it the grind of life I’m struggling with?
Somewhere along the line the two became an inseparable balancing act.
I tell myself that I’m frustrated because I know the right words are locked inside, I just can’t get them out.
I try writing free flow.
The movie in my mind just doesn’t seem to be translating into black and white on the screen.
All I can see is the blood, sweat and tears staining my desk.
Is this what they call writer’s block?
Or is it just an acquiescence that I will never make a masterpiece and therefore what’s the point?
Yes, there’s everything in between to consider. There have been achievements beyond my wildest dreams.
Opportunities and invitations do roll in. For that I’m delighted. I get to have fun and write about it for a living. No boss. My own take on things. I thought that this would be a highlight. But, yet still I don’t feel satisfied.
The craving to be fictionally creative never stops niggling away.
There are too many distractions right now really. The stop-start approach is no good. But distractions, and even blogging, all too easily shroud my excuses. My fear of failure. Perhaps if I were braver, I would say “no” to my bulging inbox. Go away, this is what I want to do and so this is what I’m doing.
On countdown until the birth of my second child, I feel pressure to make the most of already scarce, lucid time. Before my imagination is sapped, albeit temporarily and gladly in favour of my newborn. I’m anxious. About everything.
I look at the email again.
But is it not this tortured soul who has casually narrated the story so far?
Mr X thinks so.
Would the cure for eternal happiness zap my creative drive?
Ironically, perhaps this is why I write.
Whilst being introspective is a nightmare; pouring it all out is a relief.
Thanks to this strange modern online community, I find some comfort in recognising this.
And so I bob along having this black week. The weather has been crap. Hormones are raging. I’ve submitted a fiction manuscript that I know in my heart of hearts will bounce.
Not because it’s bad; but because others are so much better.
I’m basically bored.
But what can I do but carry on?
Try my best. To enjoy it. If I can.
Thank you for the feedback Mr X, you’ve make it all feel a bit more worthwhile.
This week anyway.