I find sometimes that going back to the days when our autonomy was not our own, but directed by our parents and guardians, can sometimes help out with a mental state. Now, I’m not advocating anything kinky here, I’m talking about being grounded. You see, for the last 27 days, I have been grounded from writing. Yes, you read that correctly. I, a grown woman, allowed myself to be grounded from something I love doing.
However, the reason behind the ‘punishment’ is the important part. You see, I was grounded from writing because I had a very special sort of writer’s block. The kind where you hate everything you write. The kind where you believe it all to be pointless tripe and terrible dribble. The kind where you start to wonder if you’re meant to be a writer in the first place, or if you should just give up and run away to join the circus.
My best friend came up with a solution. “You’re grounded from writing for a month.” She said to me one day after I almost burst into tears for the billionth time over my works-in-progress. Of course, I tried to negotiate. Can I collect prompts? No. Can I blog? No. Can I write down my dreams? No. Damn, that one was hard because most of my story ideas come from dreams I’ve had. I was cut off entirely. No writing, except in a journal.
The first week was a relief. It was like something heavy had been lifted from my throat. I was free, and it was all thanks to my best friend, who had seen that writing had become something awful for me. I had hated everything that came out of my fingers, and she had seen it.
The second week, I started to get antsy. So I asked if I could read books on writing. She said that would be fine. So I downloaded a book called “Writing Magic” by Gail Carson Levine, one of my favorite authors. Listening to it give me prompts for writing ideas, I started to feel an itch in my fingers.
This third week was hell. I wanted to write so badly I was formulating ideas for the stories I have in the works without any thought whatsoever that this was technically cheating. I even wrote down one of my dreams (I broke my word, how awful!) because it makes a good story prompt. I immediately felt guilty, after all, but when I confessed to my bestie, she said she’d honestly forgotten that she’d grounded me.
Today, I asked, begged, pleaded even with her over whether I could be allowed to get back on the writing train. Because I was going insane. Nothing filled my time the way writing did. Nothing made me feel productive and happy the way writing did. I’d found out that without writing, I felt like I was nothing. Before, I’d been writing as a way of ‘beating my mother’. Now, however, I’m writing because if I don’t, I feel useless and listless and just plain droll.
Not to mention, I was starting to run out of things to read.
So if you ever find yourself loathing everything you write with every fibre of your being? Find someone to ground you from writing. It might just show you how much you love it again.