It's always darkest before the dawn...
Updated: May 29, 2022
It’s always darkest before the dawn… My favourite line from ‘Never let me go’, by Florence and the Machine.
Change brings about intense emotions. Whether it’s positive or negative change, expected or unexpected, there will likely be an emotional roller coaster that follows. This year, I’ve had a few changes. The biggest was moving states. While it was exciting, as someone who as never lived away from my family, it was also hard. Coupled with that, I finally faced something that had been whispering within me for some time. I don’t want to continue on my current path as an author. After putting in twelve years of hard work and a significant investment of money into chasing my writing dreams, it shocked me to be feeling this way. But it was also a relief to finally feel it. To accept it. I’d been pushing those thoughts away for a while.
Shortly after my last book came out, I had a feeling that I wouldn’t write another novel. I told myself I was ridiculous, because I had been working so hard to establish myself as an author. But it didn’t feel right. I have a draft of my next novel, but I didn’t want to work on it. I couldn’t see the point. This flatness surprised me and was very uncomfortable. I’m used to big, powerful feelings of passion for my writing, but suddenly they were gone. This was the darkness... But the dawn was coming.
Letting go of a dream you have held onto for so long feels awful. But it is also incredibly liberating and it creates space for new dreams to drop in. Once I made the decision to stop writing books, it freed my mind up to just wander and let ideas flow. And they did. To my surprise they were story ideas! But with a difference – for children’s books. I dabbled in writing some of them and the words flowed effortlessly. I felt a new sense of joy at writing from a child’s perspective. I decided to apply for a course I’ve been contemplating for years but was too nervous to try; the Curtis Brown Creative novel course (but one for children’s and YA writers) and I got in.
Side note - the weekly tutorial for this course is on at 4am my time, that's how I took this photo of sunrise - I'm not usually a morning person!
The course has started and I feel like I’m right back at the beginning of my writing journey; filled with passion, and not yet burdened with any kind of expectation of myself. I am so inspired and feel like I’ve come full circle - I actually started my writing journey by trying to write children’s books twelve years ago. So here I go, off chasing a new dream. But instead of feeling silly for changing my mind so often, I’m proud. Some things work and some things don’t. I will never have to regret not trying and I’m not scared of chopping and changing my dreams to suit what feels right. Because if you’re going to spend so much time on something, you have to love it, don’t you?
So… I encourage you to feel free with your dreams. Change them when they don’t feel right. But never let go of dreaming – the sense of hope in working towards a dream is one of the best gifts in this life. And hope is something we all need a little more of right now.