As those who know me may be aware, I am almost notorious for starting writing projects and then not carrying through with them. I have wanted to keep a blog for years, but have not yet managed to keep one running consistently for any length of time. I just haven’t managed to find the right topic, or the right amount of motivation or ‘go get ‘em.’
We could go into the reasons for that, but that is not what this post is about. This post is about the journey I have recently taken to move to a point of starting up this blog. A journey that was almost over before it even began this time. I think it would be some kind of record to have a blog last for a negative amount of time… but I am getting ahead of myself.
At some point in the last 6 months or so, I started thinking about starting up a new blog or writing project of some kind. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to work on, but my creative writing juices were beginning to stir after having been largely dormant for quite some time. I had ideas again! I just needed to figure out where I wanted to channel my creativity.
As I started thinking about what I wanted to work on, I started playing with the idea of starting a travel related blog. I didn’t do much more than mull the idea over initially, though. I wasn’t sure what that type of blog would look like for me, or whether or not it was actually something that I would want to work on long term. But the idea started to wander around my mind.
Then, sometime around the end of February, beginning of March, I decided that I needed to stop coming up with reasons why I shouldn’t and start focusing on the reasons why I should. I decided to just dive into the planning, and see where it took me. I knew that I wanted to write about travel and books, but I also wanted to leave the blog name open enough that if I decided to switch up the topic a bit, I would hopefully not need to pick a new name and start over yet again. I finally settled on a name, and I wrote and posted my “About” page. I was all ready to start writing and posting!
Enter Covid-19. And a new, pandemic shaped, day-to-day reality. My writing plans were completely derailed.
Sure, I suddenly had “extra” time in my days. Though my day job has thankfully been able to switch to full time work from home, all of my weekend and evening activities were cancelled. But “free time” didn’t automatically equate to an abundance of motivation or interest in sitting down to write. Work was busy. I was tired. Not to mention dealing with all of the new and added stresses related to a world that seemed to be verging on chaos. Some people were converting the time and additional stresses into a recipe for productivity. But this wasn’t the case for me. Even if I had wanted to be crazy productive, I didn’t suddenly find myself with a cup overflowing with creativity. I have a hard enough time on a normal day convincing myself to sit down and write, and now I had what felt like a million other reasons and excuses that needed to be overcome.
And if all of that wasn’t enough… I was supposed to be writing about travel?
The entire travel industry had essentially ground to a halt. I had no idea if my summer travel plans were going to be cancelled or postponed a year. I wasn’t even travelling to work anymore. And I was supposed to be writing a blog about travel? I mean, sure, I wanted my blog to be about travel and reading, and it could be argued that this was the perfect time to talk about reading. But what was the point? I had finally overcome all of my excuses and self-imposed roadblocks, and before I could even start my project it had been halted.
Days turned into weeks, and I didn’t write, and didn’t write, and didn’t write… But then I gradually started working on shifting my focus from the chaos around me. I started making a conscious effort to spend less time focusing on all of the things that I couldn’t control, and couldn’t change. And I started thinking about writing again.
The more I thought about it, the more I started thinking about how important it is to keep dreaming, and hoping, and looking forward to a time when we are on the other side of this. It’s not always possible to look forward when there is so much going on in the here and now. It can feel impossible to believe that there will even be another side. Especially when we don’t know how long this pandemic will last, or what changes it might leave in its wake. The hear and now can feel very unknown, and very scary.
But then the sun comes out from behind the clouds. And the flowers start to peak through out of the dirt. The birds sing. The air starts to feel like Spring. And just for a moment, you catch a glimpse of of a world that’s a just a little bit more “normal.” And you find your day filled with just a little bit more hope. I started thinking that maybe through writing I could bring more of those glimpses into my life. And maybe I could give someone else a glimpse or two along the way.
I can’t say how much of a writing schedule I will manage to keep in the upcoming days, weeks, and months. And I don’t know how many posts I will manage to write. I don’t want to add too much additional pressure onto myself right now, but I’m also not ready to give up on this writing thing quite yet either. I’m not sure how much of what I write will be about travel or reading right now – and I’m not really all that concerned about overly restricting my topic choices for the time being. But I’m going to put one foot in front of the other, and take it one day at a time. I’d love for you to join me along the way.