Wednesday, 20 June 2012

To write or not to write?

On Twitter I have lots of writing friends; we follow each other, read each other’s stories and pass on lots of encouragement. I’m in with a good crowd, only one of whom I’ve actually met in person.

Their comments on my blog when I was feeling really down were astonishing, I felt so much love from those I’d only recently got to know. This is when the World Wide Web is working at its very best.

However there is a little fluffy white wispy cloud to this silvery lining – I have come to realise just how many fantastic writers there are in the world - all of us with dreams and ambitions of seeing our words in print.

I used to believe that writing would be my new career, the words I formed from my sadness, the feelings I poured out onto the page along with my tears would somehow give meaning to my tragedy.

Now I am not so sure.

Once I was so desperate to write everything down, to share my life with you. Now I want to keep some secrets to myself, I need some space between the words to breathe.

A while ago someone told me there was no rush to write my book, yet I have always felt an urgency to get it completed before someone comes along and steals my thunder. A curious idea when my story is my own and very personal.

I have just read a book by Darren Cockle called The Life and Death of an Unknown Celebrity. It is his story of how his wife died of breast cancer leaving him with two small children.  There are many similarities to our two tales but oh so many differences as well. It is an honest account and worth reading for another insight into grief besides my own.

How Darren got his writing published I do not know, nothing about his writing is mentioned in the book but that’s the real story I want to read!

But Darren hasn’t written my book and if his does well maybe there is a market for books of this genre.

Possibly adding more pressure to write now and write fast, catching this current wave.

Really there is no rush and who am I writing for anyway?

Firstly it helps me to sort my feelings into some coherent order. One day I write one thing, two months later I’m writing the complete opposite point of view. That’s me and how my brain works as I process my ideas.

I do want my writing to help others too and maybe sometimes a blog entry is enough.

Sometime I find other people’s blogs by chance an I read them only once or twice, I find them from links from other friends and one link leads to another. Maybe it’s a bit voyeuristic as you dip in and out of stranger’s thoughts but I always learn something new. Fresh slants on old ideas or even reading about someone on a different journey I think “I’m glad I do things my way” or “How do they cope with THAT?”

So where am I going with my question today – should I write or not write?

I’m naturally slowing down the pace of writing for a time, I still have ideas I want to share but I might just hold a few thoughts back – who are you to know what’s in my head anyway?

From reading other blogs I know just how much I enjoy hearing that different voice.  I hope and pray that my words reach out and touch whoever is meant to read them.

Writing in a vacuum when you get no feedback at all can get you down but I get good comments so there must be something worthwhile in my tale telling.

As for chasing the dream of being published, I’m not sure I’m ready for that much commitment and certainly not in a good place to get too many rejections. I need to build my confidence and take life as it comes.

So I’m back, a little bit reinvigorated but perhaps a little less daydreamy with my feet on the ground.

To write? Well it still seems the right thing to do.


  1. Hi Sarah, I was surprised by your post today but of course we all have moments (days/weeks) where we doubt that our writing will amount to a hill of beans. I've never taken this to mean I should stop writing - in fact, I couldn't stop. I need to write. But, it has stopped me from writing particular stories or finishing WIPs that stop being of interest to me.

    I hope you'll think about why you write, how you would define success in terms of your writing. You may be overwhelmed by the whole process of publishing. I know I am! But we can still mosey along, still write what's in our hearts, create. And then, when we're ready, we'll open the next door and discover the query and publish/self publish process. Bit by bit. Step by step. :)) Many hugs! Jo-Anne

  2. Lovely to read your blog again - but don't write it for me (or anyone else) - write for yourself. And no you don't have to share everything, I'm in awe of those who do - but know that I don't! Also in awe of those who blog every day - it's so time consuming!

    Wise words here from Jo-anne, don't think I can add any more.
    Oh except the book you mention by Darren Cockle - it's self published.

  3. Helen V Anderson29 June 2012 at 16:39

    Hi Sarah. I am also an aspiring writer, currently completing an MA in Creative Writing at Teesside, after beginning writing for myself, for therapeutic purposes. Whilst I initially wrote to express myself and sort out my feelings (a bit), I am now at the stage of wanting to 'reach' (sorry if that sounds corny) more people so am honing my writing skills at uni (started out with adult ed classes). I still find it therapeutic to write, but am moving away from purely autobiographical material towards fiction and poetry (which of course also says a lot about the writer but somehow feels less exposing). As for finding something original to say, I found this paralysing until someone said that there are no new stories, but there are still unique ways of telling those stories to be tried out. I paraphrase: they were more eloquent : hope you get the picture, nevertheless! Hope this helps in some way.