Posted by: Natalie | June 7, 2011

The Lost Writer

It probably hasn’t escaped your notice that I haven’t blogged about my writing in a while. A few months back I became really bogged down, not with work really, just a low demeanour which quashed any form of creative inspiration. The work I was doing on the civil war fiction became a chore, it was no longer enjoyable but a drudge – in everything I felt like I was wading waist deep through a thick bog of nothingness. It was a frustrating lack of direction which seemed to sap any motivation I may have been able to salvage – for a long while the grey won. I lost confidence, lost my way; lost faith and worried about losing face into the bargain. When people asked, how’s the book going, my stock response was a very guarded, reserved one, volunteering precious little information. I wasn’t embarrassed, just nervous that people would somehow think less of me because I couldn’t yet cash in my promise to one day be a published author. I never expected a speedy entry into the publishing world but to admit to others what I could not admit to myself was a step too far.

I feel like the winter and spring months have passed in something of a pretence; I was functioning and working on my ambition. In truth, not so much. If I managed to even open the computer file waiting to be worked on, it was a miracle. I found myself putting off and excusing, persuading myself that it is ok not to work on my books at every given opportunity. I found countless and pointless activities to occupy my afternoon hours, dreading the next day coming because I would have to find a whole raft of new excuses not to put pen to paper – or even read! Literature became less of a hobby and more of something which simply had to be done.

The time I took from work is still the best thing I have ever done. I have experienced joys and relaxation the like I never realised existed. My perspective on life is much clearer and my wants and desires have positioned themselves in order, despite the muddied waters of the past few weeks. Since being offered my new job, I have felt a little buzz slip back in – and not only for teaching. I am so very excited at the prospect of having my own class again and a level of work which taxes my little grey cells – hopefully a level of commitment to a cause that keeps me happily on my toes. But with it has come a regenerated passion for words. Finding my direction again and marking out my future path for work and home life has helped find that path back into writing. Corners of my mind seem to be waking up and sparking little moments of inspiration which I have long missed. I see things around me again and wonder how I could write them into my ideas – the dormant hibernating of my mind seems to be ending, yes it is still a little cloudy as those first moments of waking, but the electricity supply definitely seems to have been reconnected.

I think I have resolved to leave the civil war fiction alone for a period longer – I still feel like it is a weight too far. I know what happened, I over worked it time and time again. Having written this book whole, THREE times was enough to make my belief in the story collapse like a flan in a cupboard. I still think it has merit but I am not sure tackling it now, with this precariously lifting cloud is a good idea. So, I think for a little while I shall return to that other genre of story with which I initially began. It is years now since I wrote my first sci-fi murder mystery (aliens cause the most gruesome of deaths) and it is this thread which has ignited my interest again. My plan is to start research and planning on the second book in this line, an idea which has been incubating for two years. In the mean time I shall once again put together a submission package and get my books (in the current state they are in) to publishers and agents. After all, what exactly is the point of me stressing over such things if no one ever reads them?!



  1. We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.
    Through the unknown, unremembered gate
    When the last of earth left to discover
    Is that which was the beginning;
    At the source of the longest river
    The voice of the hidden waterfall
    And the children in the apple-tree
    Not known, because not looked for
    But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
    Between two waves of the sea.
    Quick now, here, now, always—
    A condition of complete simplicity
    (Costing not less than everything)
    And all shall be well and
    All manner of thing shall be well
    When the tongues of flame are in-folded
    Into the crowned knot of fire
    And the fire and the rose are one.

    hope this helps, it helped me.
    taken from Little Gidding by T.S. Eliot

    Love Dad

    • Dad, that is beautiful! Thank you so much – all IS well, and certainly shall be more so in the coming months – I think a home coming in more ways than one. N xxx

  2. […] the posts (well, why would you?) I thought I would share the most recent comment from my Dad on yesterday’s ramble. I was so unbelievably touched this morning as I read the words of T. S. Eliot (not a man I have […]

  3. I’m glad you’re finding your way again, wherever it may lead. And I’m also glad you’ve shared with us how your path has not been straightforward or even all uphill, that indeed you’ve been on a plateau, milling about in doubt as to your ability (or even desire) to hit the path again. I think that probably happens to a lot of us, in many contexts, so we can all perhaps relate. Thank you for that.

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