I have always loved writing. Ever since I can remember I have been able to switch off and be totally absorbed by the delicate arrangement of words. I simply drift into a sea of possibilities and get pulled out into stories by the tide.
As a child that lived apart from my mother the main method of contact with her was to write. We would write to each almost weekly. About boring mundane things or deep thoughtful conversations. I still have boxes full of the letters she wrote to me.
Then as a teenager I would fill note books with poems and thoughts. Most of which are now sadly lost to the hands of time.
For many reasons I lost touch with my writing. Distracted by the practicalities of life and work, along with responsibilities that sapped my energy.
I first rediscovered the passion when writing my dissertation. I noticed that many people in my class struggled to find words, for me they flowed and I could lose myself for hours at a laptop writing about the intricacies of project management.
Then a couple of years ago in one of my attempts to do something that scared me, I decided to go to a local writers open mic night. That first night I didn’t read a thing, even though Tony kindly asked more than once if I would like too. I left inspired by the variety and talent in the room and if I am honest a little intimidated by the skill and flare on display. However I committed to read the next month.
This commitment resulted in many short poems drafted in moments stolen between work and the children. (I think I did 90% of my writing then while on the loo). My passion was reignited.
At the start of this year I went on a short writing course at a local university and once again I found myself happy in the challenges set and lessons learnt.
For as long I can remember my mind has been filled with stories. Sometimes sparked by dreams, sometimes from a love of what I read. I will often sit at the girls bedside, at night and make up stories to settle them to sleep.
Covid presented me with the opportunity to finally commit to completing a draft of a first fiction novel. A lack of holidays and social events left little room of the excuse of time. My goal was achieved in November this year.
I decided I need to perfect it further and signed up for an online writing course. For the last month I set about completing one module of the course and reflecting my learnings in the book. I am currently only on module four of fourteen.
It has been so hard going, the course unfortaunetly is the worst I have been on. Endless power point slides of descriptions and examples. No engagement, Conversation or even sound. I have clearly been spoilt by some amazing face to face and online courses over the years, because this has felt like dragging a wet candy cake through treacle.
It has meant I have stopped writing and instead of finding enjoyment pursuing my passion I have found myself looking for delaying tactics to log on and complete the next chapter.
Well tonight I asked myself why am I doing this? When all I really want to do is write. The answer that came back was very common for me. A usual lack of confidence and self worth. ‘I need to learn more, the book is not good enough, I am not worthy of publishing a book when there are so many people out there that have spent years perfecting their skills.’
Once I realised this, I noticed I was putting barriers in the way of my own happiness. I am logging off the course and going back to the novel. It will be good enough for me to enjoy and that is enough right? I wonder how often I blocked my own path to happiness through a lack of confidence that I am good enough.
Are you standing in the way of your own happiness?