It’s the end of the first week of a New Year. The futuristic sounding 2020, a year that promises big change. Having had a particularly difficult and stressful end to 2019, my writing, once again seemed to fall by the wayside. Even when there were small, unoccupied pockets of time in my schedule, I had neither the inspiration or the energy. People no longer seemed to fascinate me, but simply to annoy and irritate me. And if i was to have a chance to be alone, in a room, with only my laptop and hours to write freely, I certainly did not want to write about them. I just needed to be, for a while.
So, at midnight on the 31st December, with the turning of a New Year and also a new decade, I promised myself that this year things would be different. I had to stop treating my writing like a hobby, or something far down my list of priorities, to squeeze in when there was no need for anything else. I also, more so, had to stop other people treating my writing this way. I had to face the truth of what I wanted. To be left alone, to have times to read and watch films, and indulge netflix series, to set the ground for my inspiration and creativity to be brought to life. I asked myself, ‘why must I always be at breaking point before I realise this?’ The cycle often continues and I find myself, inevitably in the same place, over and over, year after year, questioning my choices and my sanity. At the end of year, it dawned on me that I was actually the instigator of my own fate. I would plan and organise, and say yes, and promise and push myself and go out of my way…when what really mattered, what I really needed, was forgotten pushed aside. My happiness was somehow forgotten or deemed unimportant, often by myself, but also by other people who did not have my best interests at heart.
So I found myself looking into the New Year, with a sense of positivity, of excitement for change, for progress and for me. There was also the sense of peace and calm, that recognised I needed to slow down, to reflect and learn from last year. Being busy did not always mean being happy, or successful, or rich. I would find the value in small things, in simple experience, in the people I loved being around. Also remembering everything I have achieved, imagining what a 10 year old me, even a 20 year old me might make of where I am in my life now. If I’d tried to see into the future and what my life might be like at 36, when I was much younger, I could never imagined I’d be where I am now.
Poems and articles published in newspapers and magazines, working on my third book and part time in a Theatre as well as being a Private Tutor. I’ve achieved more than I could have imagined and I’m proud of where I’ve come from and where I’ve been. The support of my family and friends has been immeasurable and even in difficult times this year they have shown their support and love in so many wonderful ways.
My final realisation seemed to settle when everything else had come to the surface. I needed to ease the pressure. For I read somewhere once that ‘only you can change the way you treat yourself, how you talk to yourself and what you think about you. Only you can change yourself and your habits. No one else.’ This is true, and it continues to resonate. Only I can do this. Only I can save my creativity from being stifled and crushed from the stress and pressures of every day life. I have to remain positive and open and calm, to allow myself to think and feel as a writer does. I have to make time for my work, for my craft and my experimentation. It makes me happy, it makes me thrive, it makes me complete. So this New Year, this New dawn of creativity, will hopefully bring with it the opportunity for lots more writing, as well as reading, watching films, walking, baking, everything that inspires me to be at my best. I hope that this time next year I feel as happy and positive and will have achieved the simple pleasures that I seek, with the support and confidence of those who matter.