When I was in my mid-twenties, I decided I didn’t want to be a writer anymore. I don’t remember why, but I do remember it was a bad time for me. You could call it my ‘Lost Years’ or misspent youth. I was working in crummy temp admin and call-centre jobs I didn’t like. I was depressed. Writing was hard. Writing was lonely. I didn’t want to do it anymore.
So I threw out everything I’d ever written up until that point – and I threw out a lot. Stories, poems, fragments, half-finished novels. Everything.
Of course, quitting is never a good idea. But I was enjoying my freedom. I didn’t feel the obsessive pressure. I started living a bit more – running, clubbing, coasting along. By the time I was 30, I was writing again. I wasn’t writing stories, but I was journaling again.
On boring Sundays, I sometimes read over those old journals. I can see, with a sense of detachment, the recurring themes that would fascinate me later as a writer. I can see that I was trying to make sense of my own life. And I think that’s a good thing for a writer. It’s impossible for a writer to quit, but taking a break can help
Keep a journal. It will show you the path.
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