The “Joy” of Starting Over

Hello, my name is starr_falling, or just Starr. I love reading, writing and cooking—especially baking. There are many other crafts I’ve dabbled in but haven’t really stuck with, and many more I’d like to try.

I’d especially like to try knitting, both because it would produce useful items and it was on of the many crafts my paternal grandmother practiced. Well, technically, I think she crocheted, but as accident prone as I am pointy sticks seem daring enough without adding in hooks. I’d also really like to try out book binding. It just sounds interesting. And I might have a slight obsession/addiction to notebooks.

Picture of 15 notebooks I’ve bought recently.
Some of the notebooks I’ve bought recently.

The idea of being able to make my own journals, exactly how I want them, has definite appeal.

Sadly, a current lack of working oven has meant no baking, and a recent promotion has sapped time and energy for anything else. (Yay! full time pay and benefits. Boo! lack of time and energy.)

Still, there is nothing that can keep me away from my first love— books. Right now, I’m reading “The Furthest Station,” a novella in the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch. I quite enjoy this series, also known as the Peter Grant series, and the interesting take on a magic system. I’m also reading “Fool Moon,” the second book in The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. While I have enjoyed these books, I’m not sure I’ll keep reading them as I frequently wish to smack Harry, and several of the other characters, over the head. Unless the ending of this book is horrendous I will be reading at least one more book before I decide.

I also enjoy reading non-fiction. Some are books about writing, some are research for stories, and others are just random things that catch my attention.

Picture of a stack of non-fiction books.
Most of these are library books. I LOVE my library!

Like “We have No Idea,” by Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson. I’ve also recently started reading manga again, but I’m following too many right now to list them all.

But now I’m just rambling. Which isn’t uncommon for me as I’m definitely a born procrastinator.

I’ve always loved stories. Both the ones I read and the ones I tell myself. It wasn’t until a creative writing assignment in middle school that it ever occurred to me to write my stories down. I’d like to say there was no going back after that, but sadly, that isn’t true.

The fact of the matter is that I often struggle with writer’s block. Most of the time it’s a short period caused by stress, lack of time, and/or distraction that is—relatively—easy to get past if I just take the time and effort to do so. But then there are other times that are less blocks, and more blanks. It’s almost as if I’m empty of words and ideas altogether. There’s simply nothing left in me to fill a blank page. It is much, much more difficult to overcome as trying to force something that is not there is pointless.

At least, that’s how it feels. Thankfully, this has only really happened to me twice. The first time lasted almost five years and I’m not really sure what caused it or what pulled me out of it. I suspect I may have been suffering at least a mild form of depression, but I don’t know as I’ve never had any kind of official diagnosis.

I am only just recently getting over the second bout. It started about two and a half years ago, when my sister received a terminal diagnosis and decided to stop treatment. I didn’t simply stop writing then, buy my words started slowing and each one was harder to produce, until I did stop writing entirely a few months after she died. For awhile, I just couldn’t muster up interest in anything. Then, when I finally managed to work past that, I just couldn’t seem to pick up where I left off. It all seemed so overwhelming and I didn’t know where to start.

So I decided to start over. It’s hard, and sometimes really sucks, but it has been helping. This doesn’t mean I’m abandoning all my old works, only that I’m trying new things and coming at things from a new angle.

One of the new things I’m trying is writing original fiction. The last fifteen years of my life/writing have mostly been dedicated to fanfiction. While I love it and don’t intend to give it up, I really want to try writing my own original ideas. I have toyed with this a little bit before, but I’ve never really given the time and effort to my own worlds to really develop them.

I’m also trying out new genres, for both original and fanfic. Namely Horror and Sci-Fi. I love reading both genres but I’ve never really tried writing them, mostly sticking to the much loved and familiar territory of fantasy. It’s hard going outside of my comfort zone, but also rewarding.

One story I’m working on has a large focus on music, which is very outside my typical. I love music, the only time I don’t have it playing is when I’m in the shower or watching TV. But I am not even slightly musically inclined. Having to learn to play the recorder in grade school is the closest I’ve ever come to making music. So it is hard, but also fun. As such, this the next book I’ll be reading—and look, I have the perfect notebook to take notes in!

A picture of the book, Music Theory for Dummies and a note book with music notes on the cover
LOL

I’ve also decided that restarting old habits that once worked for me but that I haven’t done in ages counts as new. Namely, I’ve gone back to hand writing my stories and then typing them up. (See, my notebook addiction is practical.) One of the hardest parts of writing for me—aside from starting—is editing. But for some reason, when I transfer my writing from notebooks to computer, I find I edit as I go along. I have no idea why, but whatever works, right? That’s how this post was written. And if nothing else, I’ll get plenty of practice to improve my atrocious handwriting.

Picture of a small notebook.
This is the notebook I’m currently using as it will fit in my purse so I can write on breaks at work.
Picture of my terrible handwriting in previously pictured notebook.
As I said, ATROCIOUS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slowly but surely, it is working. I’m easing my way back into writing and finding my words again. Some days are better than others, but it is an improvement over nothing at all, and that is what counts. There will undoubtedly be more hard times to come, but as long as I’m willing to put in the effort, I think I’ll get through them just fine.

You can find my writing at Archive of Our Own and Dreamwidth.

One thought on “The “Joy” of Starting Over

  1. Thanks for being my guest, sweets. Oh, how I feel your pain. It’s so hard to come out of that writer’s block. I still struggle with it and it sucks. Starting with something new is good, though. It definitely helped me, but it still is like pulling teeth (ha) to work on old stuff.

    Like

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