Back to the book
1. The latest iteration
I started writing this book a few years ago. I got so far and hit a brick wall. I left it and some time later came back to it. A year or so ago I started writing it in Obsidian. I made some headway and then hit another wall. I tinkered with it for a while before unpublishing that section of my Obsidian vault. I didn't really look at it for a long time. I thought I was done, had failed and would never be able to complete the book. Lately, I've been using Obsidian more. I've been re-reading some of my earlier non-book writing. I've reorganised my folders. Today I peeked into my book folder. And realised how much content is there.
I think it's easy to make the mistake of thinking that something is no good or a failure because it's taking time to come together. But perhaps that's not true at all. I spent a lot of time last year following writers who could write a book every 6 weeks. Prolific writers who were churning out daily content, thought provoking pieces, racking up thousands, if not millions, of views. And, here was I, writing nothing at all. For a long time I didn't think I would pick up my book again.
In hindsight, one of the big benefits of putting the draft into a dark drawer is that it looks different when you take it out again. Like mushrooms, it seems to flourish in the darkness. By giving yourself some distance from your writing, you see it in a completely different light altogether.
4. Making time
Creatively, the past few months have been frustrating as I've had neither the time or the energy to do anything remotely creative. My head had no space in it. And my time was filled with other stuff. I realised, one night recently, driving home that, although I enjoy my work, it wasn't filling me with joy. I felt permanently fatigued because there was no spark. Work is hard work. It's a daily juggle of a long to do list which never ends. It's like a carrot dangled from a stick ahead of me.
5. Making changes
Something has to give. If I carry on working and filling my time the way I am, I'll never create anything of any merit. It's easy to become swept along by the current and never get anywhere near the shore.
6. Paring back
Sometimes I'm not conscious of why I'm doing something. Usually I feel overwhelmed and can't see the wood for the trees (or, as my blind husband says, 'can't see the wood or the trees'!). I started taking down websites, unsubscribing from tools, spreading myself less thinly. I've deleted a ton of stuff. I've decluttered and in doing so, I've made room again for something new to take its place. There may have been method in my madness!