I stared at my laptop screen for what felt like the third time all year. And yet, the Google Docs page remained blank. Come on, I thought. How could I have just stopped writing?
It was naive of me, looking back. Assuming that the (far) less rigorous life in high school couldn’t have contributed much to the speed & passion I had had for writing at the time. Here I was, 20 years old, already past the two year anniversary of my first book’s publication. I felt like a failure–could I even call myself a writer anymore? A growing stack of unfinished manuscripts filled by Google Docs, reminding me how few projects I had indeed finished since that first publication back in 2020.
I’m 21 now. And yup, not much has changed. I have even more unfinished documents and exactly zero new completed ones. But what I’ve realized is that my life is nowhere near as easy or simple as it had been in high school. Oh, the free time I had! To have finished two manuscripts by 18 was something I never truly appreciated until three years later… and no more new ones to speak of.
When people would ask me what I do, I stopped saying I was a writer. I’d stumble over my words, trying to explain that I wrote, well, used to. I mean, still did… just not as much… Oh, forget it! My Google Docs remained empty of new story ideas for a while. The very thought of new & exciting stories left a bitter taste in my mouth, knowing I was just setting myself up for failure… again. Instead, business documents and school papers crowded out my stories, pushing them back to “Last edited over a month ago.” I was in school, planning a wedding, while also working my job. I didn’t have time to feel sorry about writing.
This sounds like a sob story but I promise it isn’t. After a few months of this, I realized something:
I’d never truly stopped writing.
The Notes app in my phone was filled with fragments of poems & simple story ideas.
My journal remained written in year after year.
I taught a Bible study and studied the Bible more than I ever had.
I’d never stopped writing. It just began to look different. The love for it was still there and so was my desire. I realized that eventually, the desire to write books and pour into fiction would come back.
And it has.
I call myself a writer again. I’ve been plotting out my next novel while working through the rest of the series where the first book is currently published. I’m no high schooler anymore and my life is always busy so I know for a fact that this blog will not be what it was four years ago. But it’s not going away any time soon and my novel publishing has only just begun, albeit, to a rather slow start.
But if you’re a writer and writing doesn’t look the way it used to, that’s okay. I highly doubt you’ve truly given up on writing. People who say they are writers can’t give that part of themselves up–it’s ingrained in them.
So, WRITERS, what have you been writing?