Dear Will to Write (hereafter known as WTW),
I am writing to you (get the irony?) because we don’t seem to understand each other very well nowadays. For months our relationship has been rocky.
I am sorry that I deserted you after you gave me so much. Like all the cherished things in my life, you were quashed by depression.
I hardly knew you, WTW, in the early days of this cruel illness taking hold. I confess I didn’t want to. It was too painful to think about you. The memory of how you have been with me nearly all my life (albeit subconsciously) was too much to bear.
The reflections upon how we started this writing gig in earnest this year; churning out a first draft of a novel, writing short stories, and starting this blog, threatened to slay me.
Like a mourner in denial, I had to pretend that you didn’t exist for self-preservation. If you were never there in the first instance, then your absence could not grieve my heart.
Despite this, I felt your presence even then. Through the murkiness of the oppressive cloud that surrounds me, you nudged ever so gently with ideas and inclinations to write.
I failed you every time and I confess that on occasion I have hated you. I felt like you were mocking me for what I was once capable of doing, and taunting me that I just can’t do it now.
The Will to Read (WTR) was exiled at the same time as you. I hope she kept you good company in the interim. I missed you both desperately.
You are a team and now I’ve broken you up. I am in a paradox of being pleased that WTR is back, but I still cannot let you fully back in. You scare me.
I take heart in that WTR is seeing me through. Words are still present in my life as long as I can read. Reading is saving me.
With a book I can enter other worlds and temporarily not have to take part in the one I have been dubiously bestowed. I am grateful to other writers who have privileged me with this escape within their words. If only I could formulate more of my own.
I miss my imagined worlds.
I miss my words.
I miss you, WTW.
I am sure that those who read my blog posts are scratching their heads and thinking, ‘But she’s written this so surely she has not lost her WTW?’
Oh how I wish I could say to them that I still have ‘it’, the whole WTW shebang. I don’t.
Readers of this blog do not know that the only thing I write every week is this blog post. I have not written, revised or edited any fiction for nearly three months. I know that is the way it must be whilst I am going through this depression nightmare, but I detest it.
I battle with you, WTW, every Monday onward. I publish a post and then the fear strikes my heart like a steely cold hammer. The anxiety taunts me: ‘Can I write another post?’, ‘I don’t have any ideas’, ‘My readers will hate the next one because it won’t be good enough’ and so on and on…
WTW, let’s be positive for a moment. For the last few months you have enabled me to write a post every week. Somehow, and only with your tenacity to be recognised, have I produced something in time for Monday.
There have been people who have commented on how they have enjoyed the writing. I should see this as a win. I see it as your victory, WTW, not mine.
The relentless negativity mill that churns up what was once a strong, resolute mind for writing, tells me I am failing. It sneers that I am no friend of yours.
Occasionally I see you as the enemy. You seduce me and offer ideas for fiction pieces when you know I cannot make them a written reality. I let you down every time.
I try to capture the ideas, but they sieve through my mind like sandy grains of amnesia. The fatigue, in mind and body, renders even tapping these keys exhausting.
Aspects of your wider world also hurt me. I despair when I see another blog post about how I should be writing every day and following all the writing rules. I avoid them now as I often end up feeling like a failure.
I cannot attend the writer’s group I used to be part of. I am aiming to get back to it given time as they are such a supportive and encouraging group of people. Right now though, they have the WTW. I am barely scratching the surface. I would feel like a fraud in their presence. I know they would not judge me as such, but whilst you are so far away, WTW, I feel far removed from other writers’ ability to know you.
WTW, I acknowledge you. One day I hope you will forgive me and come back in like a whirlwind and we can resume this heady love affair we started.
I miss the fire in my heart to write.
I yearn for the highs of exciting ideas popping into my head.
I am heartbroken that words have become obstacles rather than stepping stones.
WTW I miss you.
This is not writer’s block. I cannot sit down in a grumpy hump with other writers about this thing we all face that soon passes. That ‘block’ can be kicked out of the way given a little space and a boot up the arse.
This is not writer’s block. This is mental illness killing my mental capacity. This is depression depressing my writing ability. This is darkness hiding the joys of what gave me purpose. This is sucking the will out of WTW.
I wrote this. People will probably tell me that’s a win. I don’t feel like I’m winning at all. Every day, knowing you are out there WTW, and I cannot quite reach you, is agony.
Come home soon WTW and patch up this damaged writing heart.
I miss you.
In fragile hope,