The nice thing about digging up my early writings is that I am reminded of how I used to write just because it felt fun. I have several diskettes I can no longer open that I'm sure contains stuff I'd be happy to read, but I don't have the technology to do so anymore. I'm hopeful I still have dot matrix printouts somewhere, but I also did go through a phase of self-hatred where I destroyed a lot of the things I wrote, including early diaries.
I used to write for fun, imagine that. It really feels like so long ago, a different life ago. I'd just open a notebook or switch on the computer and start to write. I didn't write a lot of fiction, so I'm now wondering why I tried to focus on the short story in grad school. Maybe it's because "creative non-fiction" wasn't a thing then, and essay writing was something that felt academic.
Sometimes, I still feel like writing for fun. I think that's why I still busy myself with this blog, even if it doesn't have a lot of readers and I promote it only minimally. Sometimes, it still feels fun. I'm doing it because I enjoy it; I do it for myself.
I think what ruined me, at least partially, was that I started writing for profit, which I still want to do, but not in the way I was doing it. I had to think of how the piece would make money for someone (I did a lot of marketing writing), and then eventually, my brain started focusing on what I felt I needed to say for others and not what I had to say for myself.
I think I've said it here before, or at least I've said it to someone else: I am blocked because I feel like I have nothing to say. A few days ago I came upon this quote:
“Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” - Barbara Kingsolver
So now I'm using this time to figure out what I have to say. I've started a little writing project (also for myself) to see exactly what I have to offer. It's one of the things I'm doing for Advent.
I know Advent resolutions are not a thing, but I did well with my Lenten resolution to stay away from Facebook, so now I've pledged to do some things in preparation for Christmas, and when I say Christmas, I mean the gift that I have humbly and faithfully asked for myself.
My other Advent resolutions cover my overall well-being. I'll probably give updates from time to time, but I've looked at my blog archives and the posts I hate are those about my unfocused efforts to change my life, so maybe not so much.
But I have to tell myself that it's okay to stop and start. Because here I go, again.