Frustration of a writer
The joy of the written word
The written word has held a place of importance for me, my entire life, or so it seems. My mom taught me the alphabet, basic writing (my full name, address, etc.) and to count to over 100, before I ever started school. I loved the alphabet because it formed words I knew. It was exciting to put those letters together and spell out names, places, objects and more. I couldn't get enough of writing and learning to read. She didn't have to force me to study, I loved it.
I developed a lasting passion for reading books. By the time I had reached the third grade, I had an impressive library of books, for a child. I was reading adult mysteries and also non fiction by the fourth grade. It was during my fourth grade year that my teacher drew attention to my writing style. He thought I would benefit from some creative writing and poetry classes offered by the high school. And so my humble writing journey began.
The point to this little personal history? Simply this: writing has been a passion of mine for over thirty years. I didn't relay these facts to impress you or to boost my own ego. I shared them with you because one day, this article may offer you some sort of inspiration to pursue your own dreams, whatever they may be.
The life of a writer
By the time I reached junior high school (grades 6-8), I was writing short stories and faring well in creative writing classes. I was not the stereotypical bookworm, I also enjoyed hanging out with my friends, listening to music and doing outdoor activities. Experiencing life gave me inspiration for writing. I even became a tutor for kids that had troubles reading and writing.
By the time I graduated high school, I knew I wanted to become a professional writer. I could express myself best through writing and felt that maybe someone out there would be interested in what I had to say. My first published work was online, regarding dreams (no longer available due to my own choice). I wrote guest pieces on several websites before settling down on one website in particular.
I spent over three years writing and editing on that site. The work was not easy, I devoted many hours a day, five to six days a week and loved it. The effort was rewarding in many ways. I met many talented writers along the way and was proud to be a part of their community. The pay was modest but appreciated. I was so happy to actually be paid for writing! I was proud to talk about my chosen career. I took the work very seriously and had serious fun doing it. I was on top of the world, well my own little corner anyway.
Then it all came crashing down.
The end of an era
By the time I became an editor on the site, my eyesight was failing pretty bad, even with my new glasses. I no longer could sit and read a book in my spare time. I refused to stop putting in so many hours each work day and the result was constant migraine headaches. Then to top it all off, the site abruptly announced that it was closing its virtual doors forever. This news sent me reeling. I had come to rely on the consistent "paycheck". More importantly, I looked forward to starting work each morning.
As many writers did, I tried to pick myself up and move on. I found a few sites and wrote some content for them, including here at HubPages. Unfortunately, I just haven't been able to get into the groove again. I find myself staring at the blank screen for hours. The words are seldom there any more. Perhaps it is writer's block, perhaps I am burned out and perhaps I just have run out of words for the time being. It is not in me to just give up a lifelong passion, but I do take long breaks now. It is truly the end of an enjoyable era, but it is the beginning of a new one.
Writing a new chapter
To say that not being able to write is frustrating, well that is an understatement. I have always been able to write...something. It was almost like the words just came flowing out of me. Now, I have to actually pick a subject and concentrate really hard to complete even a short piece. My memory isn't what it used to be and I have to check my work and re-check it before I am confident enough to submit for publishing.
There is a bright side to having my professional world turned on its side. I am going through those old articles and doing a lot of editing and deleting. This is a slow and tedious process but so worth the effort. I know things now, that I didn't know when I wrote those old pieces. I can polish my skills and move on to the next chapter in my life book.
I still love the written word and truly believe it is worth my current frustration. So what do I do when the words just aren't there? I look to you, readers and writers for inspiration. I read the forums and articles and am reminded why I love the written form of expression.
Nothing in this life comes easy. We all have to work for what we want, for what we believe in. If you are truly passionate about something, then go for it! The only thing standing in our way is us. I haven't let bad eyesight, rheumatism or writer's block keep me down. In fact this little half rant, half complaint piece is an example of finding words to write down. We just have to take each day as it comes and get on with it.