Where have you been?

For the past few months, I’ve been struggling with a serious creative lethargy. I wouldn’t call it Writer’s Block, as such; it’s more like Writer’s Disenchantment and Disassociation. But that's not quite as catchy, so... 

I’ve found it hard to devote time and energy to blogging, and my bigger writing projects have been put on pause too. I keep saying it’s because I’ve been so busy with my two jobs and various social commitments, which is true in part, but really it’s a lack of drive and inspiration. I have flashes of wanting more than anything to create things, which are often brought about by going on long walks, watching films or doing my regular sweeps of the local charity shops on my way to work, for some reason – but the rest of the time I simply feel too drained to conjure anything up. I’m also full of guilt for not setting aside even half an hour each day to do something, anything, creative just for myself. I used to devote entire days to the blog, and have about a dozen Word documents saved in little icons on my desktop. These days, I just stare miserably at my drafts on Blogger, and abandon hope worryingly quickly. 

Photo: Erin Veness

I’ve talked to a few friends recently about my increase in screen time each day, and an addiction to social media forming. I think this is mostly down to my need to do something creative and connect with people, but always being ‘on the go’ means I can only manage a quick scroll, a flurry of commenting and perhaps a post with a chatty caption, a few times a day. That rubbish little routine pretty much became a substitute for blogging, and it didn’t fulfil me as much as writing my feelings out in my happy space does. So, after realising this, I decided to allocate more time for writing. I’ve started scribbling WRITE on my days off in my diary, with a blank box beside it that gapes at me, yearning for a tick. I used to be more specific with my diary notes; I’d write titles of blog posts I wanted to write, or had already written and wanted to organise their allocated publication dates… it was A Bit Much, in the end. I started to get stressed about writing, posting and scheduling, and before I knew it, I was in a dead zone and nothing was being written, let alone posted or scheduled. Arghh. I think the trick is not putting pressure on myself; simply telling myself to write something on any given day is enough. I mean, nobody’s going to come after me for not publishing that particular post on that particular day, are they? 

My mental health ain’t great these days, my gang. 
Well, it can be weirdly amazing for a few days, I’ll feel like I’m really turning the corner, but then the following week it’s absolute balls. I don’t really know what’s going on. I’ve had blood tests to check my hormones – but joke’s on me there, my pill suppresses/replaces them so much there’s not a whole lot to check. I asked about returning to counselling, but they can’t put me on a waiting list until the new year. I chatted with my GP, who properly listened and told me he trusts me to keep an eye on things and will help in any way he can if things get any worse. There’s not a whole lot more I can do, really. I actually wonder if regularly writing my feelings out on here, like I used to when I was 17, is what’s missing in my life and brain right now. Y’know? Please do comment or tweet me or DM or whatever with any life hacks and tips for pulling myself out of depression spirals – but please, no mindfulness or meditation. I’m shit at that stuff. 

Photo: Erin Veness

Okay, here's something nice that happened recently: I hosted a lil party at work with a small group of women from the WI. They were so kind, warm and receptive to what I had to teach them. I am usually dealing with kids at work, so it made a nice change to be chatting with more mature people who wanted to learn new things. The woman who booked the party emailed the boss afterwards, and gave me some lovely feedback. These days with my turbulent mental state, I don’t feel as much – it can be a lot of numbness. Tall, fuzzy walls. Now and again, though, the nice things sneak through. And validation at work always seems to do the trick. Probably because I love what I do, and take immense pride in it. 

Now, for a few weird random things that have happened: last night, I dreamt my favourite cactus was yanked out of his pot, with only his little baby growth left, and I was told he’d dried out and died. I feel like this happened in my dream because I have been so chuffed about how much this guy, my first ever cactus, has grown recently. He’s spawned a bulbous baby, as I mentioned, has flowered several times and grown a coat of fluff as he’s gradually grown taller and taller; I recently had to scoop him out of the large Starbucks cup he’s been in for the past 2 years, and re-pot him and his sprog. It was a proud moment. So obviously my destructive subconscious had to terrorise me with the vision of him dead. Hmm. Rude. 

Anyway, please do admire Ken (formerly Kenickie, but I feel he’s matured into a Ken) below, and also let me introduce his succulent wife, Lizzo (formerly Rizzo, for obvious reasons, but after seeing the juicy queen herself live in London last week, I had to pay tribute to her somehow). 

Another random thing: I’ve been asked to be a guest on a live podcast recording for The Loneliness Collaboration in London next week. I’ll be chatting with some lovely other folx about being creative, being freelance, and being lonely. Get tickets and come along, if you can, please. 

What else? Well, as this decade is rapidly coming to a close (what?) and the twenty-twenties (or Roaring Twenties 2.0?) are about to commence, I’ve been reflecting on my life and what’s been happening in it these past few years. I’ll obviously write a whole post about it soon, if all goes to plan, but right now the things that are immediately springing to mind are: I’ve made big life changes, but still have a way to go. I’ve lost a few friends, but been better for it. I am looking for open doors, and finding them in the most unlikely places. I have fallen in love with a pair of hands, and the body, mind and soul they’re attached to. I am enjoying what I do for work, which still feels strange. My brain is fine. Not perfect, but it’ll do. My bowels are okay. Not great, but at least they’re working. And as I said earlier, my mental health has seen better days, but I’m on the case. 

Photo: Erin Veness

Right, how are we feeling about this kind of post making a comeback? Does the chatty vibe work for you? Let me know. It felt good to write – but then I also kept worrying it wouldn’t read very well, it wouldn’t grab readers’ interest, what’s even the point!? Deary me. My mind knackers me out.


  1. It's hard finding that balance, right? Especially when your mental health is low, and all you want to do is just hide. But even knowing that chatting or writing will get it out, it's still terribly difficult to get the motivation up to actually write the thing, or have the chat. BEAUTIFUL cactus growth, though. You are nurturing that lil guy!

  2. Welcome back!!! I like the streams of consciousness ���� and LOVE YOU!!!

  3. Hi Hun. I know someone in Tunbridge Wells who is a great counsellor you could possibly go and see if he has space. But he does charge per session . Something you could talk about. Very reasonable and great guy though xx

  4. I am loving this chatty vibe, and it's a hard relate from me to experiencing a drive to be creative, but nothing actually coming out of this AND feeling a sense of numbness to almost everything. I think working on personal projects can really help get me out of a depressive cycle - for instance, I have a bullet journal, but have no intention of letting anyone else see it. It's just for me. Having that space and freedom is incredibly uplifting at times where being online is A Lot and I just want to make things without fear. I'm always a message away if you want to chat xxx


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