A Writer’s Shame by Annmarie Miles

The Long & The Short of it by Annmarie MilesLet’s welcome back monthly columnist Annmarie Miles as she shares with us about “A Writer’s Shame.” Enjoy!

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Have you ever felt it? The burning shame of knowing that you haven’t blogged in ages. When you look in your bag and your notebook is staring at you, all wounded and bereft because you haven’t opened it in a while.

Your WIP’s protagonist, who you once knew better than you know yourself, is now a distant stranger. You watch wistfully, and with more than a smidgeon of envy, the Facebook posts of writers who are blogging, editing and publishing like the wind.

If you have felt such things, then you know what it is to feel it. The shame of the writer, who is not writing.

And I was that writer. I let a busy time turn into a dry spell, which turned into a drought.

The shame wasn’t just about not writing. Part of it was the regret of talking about it all the time. The voice in my head reminding me how I’d shared with great gusto, the wonders of writing. FB posts about how I was juggling multiple projects with glee. Tweets about how fulfilling it all is and how THIS is what I’m meant to be doing.

“So why aren’t you doing it?” my cruel inner voice whined at me.

I felt like a failure and a fraud. After all the advice I had given out, and stern looks over my glasses at people who were struggling to write a mere couple of hundred words a day…? Tut Tut!

Now look at me; with at least 2 tentative publishing dates passed, and the third ready to whizz by, as I’m nowhere near ready. The momentum was gone, and I worried that I’d be forgotten and I’d have to start all over again. That’s IF I could remember how to write. The ability to put a story together also seemed to have deserted me.

BUT… (there had to be one, right?) Do you know how I knew I was still a writer? Do you know why, even though I was beyond writer’s block (there was no writing to block), I knew it hadn’t left me forever.

I knew I was still a writer because I was tormented by not doing it. It was maddening. I reckon if you try something and it turns out not to be for you, it’s a relief to give it up.

“Thank goodness that’s over. OK back to what I really love; now where’s my jigsaw/mountain bike/stamp collection/tuba.”

Not me though, I was antsy and grumpy. Interestingly, I stopped enjoying other things too. It was a real case of withdrawal, but I didn’t know how to get back to where I’d been. So I stopped trying.

I gave up. Wrote some emails to people who were expecting work from me. (Including our own Beth Barany – thanks for your patience B x {Of course, Annmarie! I know how it is!}) I put my notebooks away and ignored the blog stats. I was trying too hard. I’ve been through a lot in the past couple of years. I needed to give myself a break and let it come back naturally.

You know almost as soon as I gave myself permission not to write, I felt a load was lifted off my shoulders. It didn’t actually take long to get started again.

So to you struggling scribbler, I won’t give you 5 steps to get writing when you can’t write, 3 tips to get you going again, or 7 ways to blast writer’s block out of the water.

I will leave you with a quote from a wonderful email I received from a writing friend that confirmed I was doing the right thing…

“Read and observe and live and I promise you it will all come back to you.”

It did, and it will for you.

A x

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Editor’s note: Thank you, Annmarie, for sharing with us this tender and frustrating time. And I’m so glad you found your way back to writing in the way that was just right for you.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Annmarie MilesAnnmarie Miles, part time writer, full time believer is 40something, Irish, Christian, married, and proud to be all of those things. She loves words, music & chocolate! You can find out all about her and her book “The Long & The Short of It”.

Where to find Annmarie:

Website: www.annmariemiles.com.
Email: [email protected]
Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/amowriting
Google+: auntyamo
Twitter: @amowriting
Personal Blog: www.auntyamo.com
Writing Blog: www.annmariemiles.com/blog


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