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It's all a part of the process.

I was injured at the end of 2016 and sometime after that had my second break-down. It's no exaggeration to say that I barely made it through 2017 in one piece and often the only way I made it through a day was second by second.

Right at the end of 2016 I thought I'd do the world a favour and never write again. I was on the brink of destroying decades of notes, drafts, and ideas. I realised though that I couldn't destroy what had already been published; that couldn't be erased. A short time before that I had decided to quit cosplaying too but my daughter convinced me not to do anything too hasty and to just pack up my costumes indefinitely. I followed her suggestion (although I did take the opportunity to cull some items too). I decided to tak a similar approach with my writing. But I felt like I would never write again. I was convinced that I was a hack. I was convinced that the world didn't need my voice as well.

I was always prolific with ideas but with my poor mental health (including ptsd, suicidality, and depression) combined with shitty life circumstances and abuse, I found most of the time that the words were stuck in my head. Occasionally I'd pull a piece out and it was published but generally I just felt like a hack.

And then the dam broke. I couldn't stop writing (apart from on the worst days). And I completed pieces. I started to organise my writing (it's still a huge mess but getting there). I started to share my work without caring what others thought. I wrote primarily for me. For my sanity. To help me make it through a moment. And I shared on the off-chance that my words would help others (as they once had done many years ago).

I wrote as if I was possessed - and I was. I was writing to keep the flashbacks from overwhelming me. I was writing to drown out the noise in my head. On my worst days I promised myself if I could just get one word own that would count. And sometimes that one word was excruciating to get out - because it couldn't be just any word. It had to be an idea, or a part of a project I was writing on.

I was my most prolific. Some of my ideas were crap but crap can be polished so I learned just to get it all down. I had note pads and pens all through-out the house. I used my camera to take pics if something caught my eye (a flower, some tossed aside rubbish etc). I used my pc, and other devices to get ideas. And often if I couldn't do that I'd dictate to my daughter.

I've slowed down a little since then. And I'm focusing more on completing older pieces. I'm focusing on taking part in challenges, talking about writing, pitching to publishers etc. But I still write every day. I still write at least one word.

It was not only my daughter's support that got me through the worst days; it was my writing. And once I stopped giving a crap about how my writing would be accepted, I was free. And it had gave me the freedom to do the same with my art, and my photography.

But it wasn't only that ... I learned to experiment again. To make mistakes. Some things esp in my art and photography didn't work out (but could be used in other ways). Sometimes a poem didn't work out, so I left it to stew or I approached it from another angle. Rarely was something not salvageable in some way. And I learned that not everything had to be the same quality. Like the poem that I wrote yesterday. Sometimes we just have to experiment. Or we just have to get something out of our system. It's not always going to be liked. It's not always going to be of the same standard as other pieces. But it's all a part of the process.

(edited to add: I explained in my original intro that there are times my writing is full of errors due to c-ptsd. I have removed as many errors as I can.).

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The StoryWeaver
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