Regardless of the weather or whatever else is going on in my life, the sight of an empty road stretching into the distance always brings me cheer. Especially in the countryside – the photo above was taken just north of York, UK where I live. The road leads off and in the distance you can just about make out some local ruins of a castle in a village nearby.
Since I decided that I was going to write more often, be that in the blog, or poetry, or a handwritten journal, I have been somewhat amazed at how it has helped. I have written almost every day. I have written more poems in the last two weeks than in the last two years!
A big part of the impetus to keep me going in the last few days has come from a post that Kristen Lamb put on her blog following NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month for those that don’t follow it, the idea is to write a 50,000 word novel entirely in the month of November ), you can read the post here, it’s a great read and I got a lot from it. The basic concept is one that anyone seeking self improvement, self help, external help or any sort of change should at least think about; every journey starts with one step. My journey towards living a more positive life started with the simple action of agreeing with someone. I agreed with my mum that I needed to go to the Doctor and tell him how/what I was feeling. That one thing started me down the wobbly road with may pitfalls, cliffs, alligators, T Rexes and swamps that lead to where I am today, teetering along the narrow path of a positive life. That was almost 20 years ago now, but I can still feel the echoes and ripples of that moment.
Whatever the endeavour, a single step is always the best way to start. Want to be a writer? Write something, anything! Want to be a painter? Buy some cheap paints, some paper, and let yourself go on the page. Want to be able to run a marathon? Go for a walk first. Want to blog every single day about something people want to read about? I am still working on that one, but I am finding that just commiting to writing a few times a week is a good first step, I have usually written more without even trying really.
Does that make sense? Have you started any journeys recently? Are you well down a path that started with a small moment?
PS as I wrote the title I was reminded of a quote from my favourite series of fantasy novels “New roads demand a Hoopak”. 10 points for identifying the novels and 25 points for the character 🙂
Today this blog passed it’s 400th view. Thank you to everyone that’s reading and coming along on this journey with me. There is lots more to come, and hopefully another proper post later today.
I have a confession to make. I am about at the point where I usually give up.
I have started blogs before. I started a gadget review blog about 5 years ago, a poetry one before that, and of course I have started this one twice before, once in 2009 and once in 2011.
I think it’s fear that does it, fear and the pressure (percieved pressure) of having to keep going. I tend to think :
I have a few followers now. How can I possibly keep writing what they want to read? How can I think of new things to write about? Won’t they get bored of my drivel?
Of course, in my more lucid brain I know that these are things that every new blogger fears. The trouble is that feelings such as these are tasty nibbles for the Black Dog. Depression feeds on these doubts and fears. It magnifies them and amplifies them so that they grow out of all proportion and before you know it a molehill has indeed become a mountain. I just give up. It is easier to live with the self loathing that walking away from something generates, after all, it’s a part of living with this condition anyway so it’s not an unknown feeling.
THIS TIME IT WILL BE DIFFERENT!!
I feel like actually shouting this out loud. I am absolutely determined that this time I am going to keep going. I started this blog mainly as therapy for me, and it is working. I am finding it really useful to be able to pour out onto the ‘page’ my thoughts and revelations about my condition and other things that seem to fit, like my writing. The fact that others seem to like it and want to read it is to a degree secondary.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful and I am humbled by the interest, but if only do it for you the reader then I think I would stop like I have before. The big difference this time is that I am feeling like it is making a difference to me, and I want to continue that feeling.
Another big difference is that I am now on some medication that is working for me (I have been for just over a year now, I will talk about it at some point on here) and I have a wonderful understanding partner who knows what living with depression is like so she understands.
So yeah, that was a bit self indulgant. Sorry about that! Normal service will be resumed 🙂
I have hinted in previous posts that one of the things that helps me quite a lot is poetry. I write sporadically, but when I do it always gives me something.
Well, I have decided to have one day a week or so as Poetry Day. I will be either putting a recent work of my own on here, or will be talking about someone elses work, or pehaps a collection that I have got a lot from. The title of this post means that if I write it on here, then it has to happen. I am terrible for talking myself out of writing as “I will never be as good as XYZ” or “No one will want to read my scribblings”, I am sure you get the general idea.
I hope this doesn’t have too many of you running in fear, poetry has a bad rap in a lot of people’s minds, especially “self help” poetry from a self confessed depressive… but bear with me and let’s see where it goes, ok? I PROMISE it’s not going to be all woe is me, and actually virtually none of my writing touches directly on depression.
I am working on somethign right now, so hopefully the first Poetry Day isn’t far off!