Eight Things I Have Learnt Through Writing This Blog
- How to stop fucking procrastinating and just do the thing.
- How to stick to a schedule and actually commit to a long-term project.
- How to stop fucking caring about what people think.
- How to be much more upfront about the times I’ve been a shit person.
- How to deal with people having momentary lapses of sanity; assuming something is directly about them and personally attacking me.
- How to exorcise my personal demons and release them into the world (or at least into a Word document).
- How to find beauty in the mundane, and
- How to let it go.
I began this as a writing exercise in December of 2013, when it’d been recently confirmed I was heading to NIDA and – to my own surprise – managed to keep it up ever since. I’ve kept this production of words going at a rate of one new entry every fortnight, rain, hail or shine – give or take a day or two either side – and the only real break occurred from the end of August ‘till the beginning of October, 2014: the time I was in a hospital and, for some of the time, in a coma. It feels appropriate, then, to bring it to an end as my time at NIDA comes to a close.
This blog has informed my playwriting process as much as said process has informed this blog; forcing me to grow both in my scope and maturity. It has seen me through the rollercoaster of 2013 to 2015, and I’m actually really proud of myself for keeping it up and learning to engage with and love creative non-fiction as a genre of writing; learning to find my own voice.
This being said, as 2015 has bored down upon me, its begun to feel like a burden – I’ve started no longer to feel the innate desire to write; feeling more and more the crushing weight of my own expectation, lest I disappoint the two-point-five people who read it, or myself. And maybe the sad – or bitterly funny – fact of it all is that now that my life isn’t jumping from one histrionic extreme to the next; now that I feel like I’m actually approaching some level of normalcy, there isn’t much left for me to write about.
I had a strange and unwelcome experience some two weeks ago. After posting my latest entry, someone I once knew chose to anonymously slander me, claiming my experiences were “lies and bullshit” and that therefore “other stuff [I have] written must also be bullshit too”. Admittedly, once I was able to work it out, the incident I’d written about was actually two incidents blurred together for the sake of a more interesting story; but both of these incidents still very much happened. (Also, I wasn’t offered the chance to explain that I’ve never claimed it’s blind truth; that indeed the ‘creative’ part of ‘creative non-fiction’ involves, for me at least, a bit of sanding off the edges for the sake of overall structure.)
After spending a fair amount of time unnecessarily anxious about this one person and their bevvy of poorly worded (and poorly researched) attacks, I realised three things.
Three Things I’ve Realised By Being Unnecessarily Troll Attacked
- I did not owe this person any sort of explanation; and I did not need to (or want to) defend myself. Crazy people be crazy.
- My immediate response wasn’t one of shock or horror, just of quiet bitterness as I registered that this had become no longer fun.
- I could stop writing any time I wanted.
There is a small and bitter part of me that wants to plan on writing this blog until next year at least, out of irritation that this person might think that I’ve stopped because of her very adult, very sane attack. But there’s an even bigger part of me doesn’t really care. This has turned from something I’ve really loved doing to something that’s, slowly but surely, weighing me down unnecessarily.
And so, here we are. This might be a permanent stop. The end of the road. Or, this might be an intermittent stop, punctuated by new entries every few months as I relearn to love it. Hell, this might be a pit stop for two weeks as I suddenly realise I totally can’t live without blogging. (I very much doubt it’ll be a pit stop for two weeks as I suddenly realise I totally can’t live without blogging.)
It’s been a great and intermittently stressful two years, and I’ve learnt a heap about myself, the people and the world around me, but it’s time for a rest, now.
What’s that they say about all good things?