Today I think I can safely say I’ve had a good weekend. I’ve spent the whole weekend writing, which is very unusual for me these days. Writing fiction was always a fantasy hobby of mine, in that I’ve spent years wishing I could be a better, more committed writer. Sometimes I get flashes of inspiration, and I’ll spend a few days or weeks struggling to get it all down on paper. But in the past, that output has been invariably crap, and I’ve never managed to finish an entire story, usually because I’ve got bored of it at some point.
In recovery from alcoholism, I have suddenly discovered that my creative side was blocked for years. What was blocking it? Fear, I believe, which was a major hindrance in just about every other area of my life. Yesterday, for the first time since I gave up alcohol, my creative valve opened again, and I’ve managed to write sixty pages of a new novel within the space of two days. That feels like an astonishing achievement for me. I don’t know whether I’ll finish this new story; I might be bored of it by next week, just like I got bored of all the other stories. But this time, my creative output has a lot going for it. I think it’s the best stuff I’ve ever written, and if I can write sixty pages in two days then I could have finished a 200 page novel by the end of the week. 200 pages seems like a pretty impressive amount for a first novel, doesn’t it? As long as I remember what stopped me from finishing all those novels in the past – fear – I should be OK this time. The doubts might start creeping in; I might start to think it’s not such a good story after all, and I might be thinking by this Friday that I need to change loads of things and go back and start all over again, but I really hope I can ignore those doubts this time. When I’m soaring through a new story, like I was yesterday and today, I feel free. Writing heals me, and the hours begin to feel like minutes, so that time means nothing when the words are flowing.
Considering I was feeling rather disconnected and disenchanted with life last week, I feel lucky to be this happy today. Some stressful things have happened in other areas of my life this week: I’ve started my final year at University, and as well as being told that I have to contribute more to my own upkeep this year, I also have to bring my average mark up by a significant amount, if I want to get a good degree next year. It’s going to be a difficult year ahead, with lots of responsibility on my shoulders, because I really want to get a good degree. It would feel like a waste of time if I just get an average to low mark over all next year. Last week I was feeling pretty scared of the future, but after the great weekend I’ve had, today I’m looking forward to the challenge. Being back at Uni this morning it was nice seeing all the old faces again, and the topics we’ll be studying this year sound very interesting. I know I can manage my finances this year and bring my average mark up, if I put my mind to it. All I have to do is refrain from giving into fear and insecurity; instead of running away, I can stick around and deal with the challenges ahead.