Tag Archives: sadness

Writer losing her mojo

We all have heard the saying that “writers write as simple as that” and it is really is as simple as that, but most don’t actually do it as regularly as they should or at least believe they should.  For me, I do not write as much as I believe I should because in the last few years I have lost my mojo, I forgot what it meant for me to write and I have done a lot of soul searching in the past year to find out where the passion has gone.

I did something rare for me – I re-read a book, usually I don’t re-read books unless I put them into a reference category but this particular book I re-read and saw it with fresh eyes and read things I didn’t remember were in the book in the first place.  The name of the book was “Big Magic” written by Elizabeth Gilbert.  When I read this book I asked myself a question; “Why do I think I have lost my love for writing”?  It was a simple answer really upon reflection and I would never have gotten this answer if it wasn’t for this book.  My writing became too focused on financial panic, the urge to write as much as I can so I can earn a living because I needed to break out of debts, but instead, this kind of pressure halted everything about my creative mind and I found I couldn’t do anything other than dramatic self-pitying poetry on mass, the stories and the playtime died, literally.

For the word, nothing has been published except for the things that are published on this blog simply because I didn’t want to approach a publisher with such depressing poetical themes, because I still hold to the idea that I am primarily a fantasy and horror story writer, not a poet!  I am also an essayist I suppose, because I like writing and hoarding information I have learned about my favourite subjects, but I am not sure how to become a paid essay writer and I am not really going to approach that as a career until I learn more about it. 

Anyway – getting back to the main subject of this post.  I forgot how to play – yes, even in real life, I have forgotten how to play and to laugh because of my severe depression, breakdown and financial worries.  I became so down in the dumps about my life that I had two years of being carefully guarded by Paul my fiancé because I couldn’t be left alone for fear I’d commit suicide, seriously.  One point it got so bad, Paul had to go out somewhere without me and he needed to ask a neighbour to sit in with me.  To say I am over that now, would be wrong, the slightest thing brings it back, but I am not as bad as I used to be, the self-harming has stopped a little bit and I am more predictable these days; but ultimately, the depression is still there and I am trying hard to find out how to play again, how to feel happy again and how to enjoy life.  I don’t enjoy anything anymore and it is getting increasingly difficult since the doctor is now looking into what they believe to be a very serious neurological problem, either MS or motor neurone disease, but like always there is a long waiting list here in the UK and I won’t really know what’s going on with me for several months apparently.

So, how does one go about trying to find out how to be happy again and learn to play again?  It turns out according to the book “Big Magic” and a couple of other books I have read recently that it is something most adults get out of practise of, that once you start trying to become playful and do things which are generally playful (even if you don’t feel happy doing it or feel that it is playful) you will eventually trick your mind to becoming playful and you will build up a type of momentum.  Once the momentum is built up, you will start to feel a change – well I hope so.

I thought hard about how I write stories now in comparison to how I wrote them ten years ago, was there any notable differences in how I produced work back then than now?

Yes there was a huge fundamental difference in fact. 

A decade ago I wasn’t afraid to be thought of as eccentric or insane, I would play with my imagination and I would share my thoughts and ideas no matter how obscure and strange they were with people around me and then I would write about those ideas.  I used to have a lot more creative friends too, but many of them have creative careers which have made them too busy to socialise even online, some have died, some have decided that they too have lost their playful side and have become super conservative people.

I have also found that my social circle is smaller these days which is amazing because I used to think my social circle couldn’t get any smaller ten years ago, the people who I do talk to these days are very serious people who have a worried look on their faces whenever anybody talks about anything out of the ordinary, even if you were to explain that you are an artist and a writer so it’s not a mental health problem, it’s just my mind playing with ideas and therefore there is a story in this.  You’d be surprise how people like that can dry up your will to be imaginative or to share your ideas.

Some people who have very little imagination tell me that they wished they had more of an imagination and they start to tinker with my story ideas themselves (which I don’t mind) but then they start demanding that they must change my concept on my fantasy worlds because things are just not plausible and that readers are real people who live in the real world and they want something believable, so they start pulling at the threads of my fantasy infrastructure and start literally pulling my fantasy communities apart by the seams.  It turns out that even my perfect all powerful fantasy God is not infallible, that he has other beings that will cause problems he can’t deal with and that even this God ponders who created him and so forth.  I told the person, you are going too deep here buddy, I don’t want to go that way in my story, but they insist that I must.

I became a fantasy writer because I find the real world too boring and predictable for me to want to think about and write, the idea of making a fantasy based novel plausible, to me, is laughable, because fantasy is supposed to be anything BUT normal. 

To cut myself off from such people will almost completely isolate me again, which I don’t want.  But can I really sit through another conversation where my worlds are being shattered write before my eyes?  I often feel like screaming at the top of my voice “Of course this fantasy God has a creator you dumbass, it is me, I am their goddess, I made them, but I am not egotistical enough to put myself in the book as the all-power”, does any other writer go through this?  Or is this situation totally unique to me?

So I am currently on a journey to find “My tribe” as Elizabeth Gilbert puts it and to find my playful imaginative self again and to have the confidence and focus of not listening to those who are dismantling my worlds and to continue with what I had always planned instead.  Which is a shame because these people used to feed me ideas, used to support me, but these days it is just soul destroying.  I have to ignore the world destroyers.

I wanted to join a writers group, but not sure what is involved with those and I am scared to find more people who are like that, once they’ve heard my stories.  I am trying to forget the people who are making me focus on writing purely for financial reasons and try to focus once again on writing for me, for fun, for release and for pleasure; the way it should be for all writers.

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Filed under About my work

Nightmare of writer’s block or the stories argument!

Gargoyles, leprechauns and witches oh my, they sit and clog up in my head. No room for vampires they always say, aren’t vampires now nearly dead?
They always have been, I reply, that’s their charm and wonder and grace.
But the others they sit and they frown in despair as though I have slapped their face!
Stop this jealousy, I always cry, it’s the vampires turn not yours
But the leprechauns sit and they chastise me a lot for not allowing them to finish their wars.
Then the witches with their bleak little cackles threaten to curse me if I forget, to add to their stories a little more gory, about a curse they’ve beset.
The gargoyle just moans and groans and cries out words like ALAS! Get on with my story, do not ignore me or I will kick you up the ass!
Now that’s quite enough bad language from you, says I with a determined glare
If I want to sit and write something else, I shall and it’s the vampire’s lair!
Not him again, they all shout and cry once again for the umpteenth time, you have to finish us before you start another story, song or rhyme!
Oh for peace sake, I say in an irate moan, I’ll burn you to ashes if I please, if you annoy me just once more you’re out of the door, stop bringing me to my knees
It is vampires tonight, whether you want it or like, I need to get them down too, so I start on the story, it’s a little bit gory, so the vampire sits in the queue.
Why stop there in my elaborate lair? Asks the vampire looking at me
Oh don’t you start, I say to him, don’t become like the other three!
Just leave me alone whilst I sit and think and sip at my sweet black tea.
Now where was I? I say to myself, oh yes, the miserable banshee!

The poem above reflects on my exact thoughts as a writer.  My stories which are put on hold are literally lining up to nag me to think of them even now I intend to focus on just one or two.  I hope a lot of writers who have unfinished projects agree that they also go through the same thing as me, because if not, then perhaps I need a therapist, ha-ha!

I often struggle with which of my stories to concentrate on day to day; some ideas have been coming on and off the shelf for the last twenty six years, yes, twenty six years!  I have stories about leprechauns, gargoyles, witches, banshees, and zombies, girls cooped up in a mental asylum, demon animals, vampires and many more.  Back in 2009 I decided to make a list of all the stories I had started but never finished past the first draft and the list came to 76; I lost the list when moving house and I have since added to it, I also lost a lot of papers when moving house so a lot of the ideas I started are lost somewhere in time and space.

Due to the motivational archive I found on YouTube recently, I discovered that it’s not that I lacked momentum when I was writing for all these years; I lacked consistency with sticking with something to the end.  I didn’t prioritise which idea I wanted to finish the most and that is what I have been focusing on since mid-September, I have been trying to focus my ideas on just two books and I have set myself a goal, which the archives suggested would help me.  I am to finish the leprechaun novel by June 2019 but the vampire novel must be finished by the end of January. 

The vampire novel I am working on is part of NaNoWriMo, but I know in my hearts of heart that 50,000 words is just too short for the story I am writing, wrimo is merely giving me the boost that I need to press on with it, so I shan’t be stopping at the end of November.  I also found other sites where writers can set their own goals, I found it through http://writetrack.davidsgale.com and there is another one called http://nanocountdown.com/advanced.html  you can set your own schedules and daily word count, it helps keeps you focused.

There will be another, very short post later on today when I have finished writing for the day to update you on how much I’ve done on the monthly challenge and other writing projects.

Ciao for now.

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Filed under Poems M - O, Poems S - U

Fair-Weather Friend

You call me a fair-weather friend, that’s not true

I am here for you

Though times are hard for me too, I don’t like being blue

So often I seem cold to you, but I am always there for you

I don’t always say warm words, I tell home truths too much

I try to bring humour in and it makes me seem out of touch

I sit and listen to your woes and I sit and listen quietly

It doesn’t mean that my “Oks” make me take your problems lightly

I can’t let your problems become mine; I can’t get too involved

I don’t have the energy or the time, especially when your problems are old

I tell you time again, how you can mend your pains

But you just carry on your path and it often drives me insane

So when I don’t call or say too much, think about my life too

Think about how I sit and listen and that I am there for you

How I try not to talk about my own anger and pains

How I listen dutifully when your cries are always the same

How I hear the same thing over and over again

And I’ve not yet gone completely away

Is it fair then to say…

You’re a fair-weathered friend?

Well, Okay!

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Filed under Poems D - F

Gremlins tea

Cute and sweet with a bite that’s severe

A gremlin waits in a corner so near

It watches you as you wander away from the computer that has you as a slave

When you’ve gone to make your tea, the gremlin starts to chew with glee

It nibbles away at your cables and chips, it gnaws and chomps and bites and snips

When you come back, the damage is done

The computer isn’t working and your left feeling numb

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Filed under Poems G - I

Painkiller for my very soul

I am not wallowing in pity each and everyday

My poems of woes and misery are things that ease the way

It’s a painkiller for my very soul

I need to write, even if it’s dull

It helps to cure the pain

When I write my songs of misery, it may seem like it’s about you

But it is about events that happened long ago, it’s true

You should not sit there thinking, this is one is about me I’m sure

Because then you only open up wounds and make your heart go sore

You don’t know what my poems mean; you don’t know who they are about

So don’t sit there thinking you know what’s going on, when in fact you don’t know my clout

The world in my poems isn’t about you, so stay out

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Filed under Poems P - R

Myths of the tailless four arm mers

Every mermaid is expected to drown in her own tears

For the dreams she’s had for years, of walking on hot sands like a lady for a man

A thousand myths and legends tear at the mermaid’s heart

Myths of the tailless four arm mers

She has seen them in her people’s art

How she wished to be an explorer of their sands

Witnessing the dry green scape and touch them with her hands

How she wished she knew, what it meant to be dry

Dry from all her tears

 

The foregoing poem was written rather quickly and the quality has surprised me, usually I think everything I do is useless, but I like this piece.  In fact I like it so much, I feel a story coming on, whether it will be short enough for me to want to post that eventually on this blog, I don’t know, but it is inspiring me to do more and there are other poems creeping into my head of a similar theme too!

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Filed under Poems M - O

The Watchers of the forbidden world

copyright Tina Cousins FantasyFed 2016

copyright Tina Cousins FantasyFed 2016

 

The cloud rises, twists and twirls around the forbidden mortal world
Hues of blue and grey and white forbids the passage to their sight
Unseen we are the hidden ones, forbidden to enter, forbidden to come
No one knows we are here, their cries of sadness we often hear
Forbidden to answer their prayers and cries
Forbidden to help them, unless they die
We cannot go to take their pain, we can only watch and hear in vain
We cannot cross through their gate

We can only watch their terrible fate
We are the gods they pray will come
But it’s not our world, it is not our sun
We cannot control what goes on there
Only guide them to the heavenly stair
We are forbidden to touch and be, where the mortals live and breath
We are the watchers of their endless plight
The protectors of eternal light
We are your warriors we are your knights
We tuck you into dreamtime at night
We are not evil, we are not cruel
It is not our place to rule mortals
We aren’t heartless, we aren’t depraved
We are there and ready to save
You are mortals and we are not
We are the ones that you’ve forgot
We are tender and we are true
And we’ll always be there for you
But we cannot enter through the mortal gate
We can only watch your fate
And lend a hand to the path of death
At the time of your last breath
So carefully we will take your hand
And take you to our immortal lands
Where life has set you free to be
Another watcher like me

 

 

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Filed under Short Story Series

is it fair to see a good man suffer?

Is it fair to see a good man suffer, because his wife loves no other?
Is it fair his bridges are burned and his children up and leave and their reputations upturned?
All because he loved the beast, a woman whose heart bleeds cold
Is it fair to see him die, old and grey and alone?
Because he obeyed a crone
If you think for one moment that I am pleased at revealing the truth, you’re blind
I did it to release myself, to my children – be kind
I knew that if I told the truth that my father he would stay behind, but I cannot vouch for him if he won’t leave worthless swine
I love my father and it hurts to see that I may never speak to him again
Because he is bullied by the wicked witch of old London’s east end!
He is isolated by her, like I was once
But he stays because he is in love
I don’t know what he sees in her, but he gave up friends and family for the dunce
I don’t know why, such a good man gets such a manipulative evil sow
I don’t care what you think of me for saying these words, I miss him, so does his sisters and brothers and wow – the hold that woman has on him, the things that he gave up
I just hope that when he dies he is rewarded the golden cup of life
Because his life has been hard and full of strife, for loving the beast from Hell
Oh how I miss him, can’t you tell?

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Filed under Poems G - I

Lies, truth and love

Locked in cold stone walls
Shut away and forgotten
Forbidden to live a life
By those who are mean and rotten
Lied about by your torturer
Hissed at by their friends
A mystery to others
Yet no one helps you mend
People accuse you of being the trouble
People accuse you of being bad
Yet nobody knows that the woman they love
Is evil and nasty and mad
Some have seen the truth, a glimpse
But unsure, they look on
And eventually I run away again
And hope that I can belong
But away I went and then there was more
Trouble and lies and hate
But the people who witness the things going on
Think it is I who has caused this fate
They won’t be told that someone they like
Have two sides to their personality
Instead they decide to add to my torment
Thinking they are defending their mother, naturally
But they don’t remember I am not the only one
She has kept in the dark and cold
I am one of three and she hates two
But the oldest one, he never knew
He won’t accept the truth
My father is lovely and it pains me to say
I might never get to see him again
Because she rules him, and he won’t come
To visit me and his grandson
Because she lies to all around, that she gives him a choice to come around
But she doesn’t you see, the truth is this
She would rant and she would spit
If he came knocking at my door
So until she dies, I’ll see him no more

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Filed under Poems J - L

Hollow feelings and death

I am feeling hollow
Surrounded by death
Though no one wants to hear my thoughts
They say I am selfish if I declare my pain
Feeling for strangers, that’s insane, they say
But I look on
Numb
Torn
Forlorn
Reborn
Like from the ashes of the cadavers around me
I form a new life within my self
For them
For me
That’s how death can set people free
Sometimes
Like now, that doesn’t work
Perhaps soon it will
But now I am still
Cold and worn
I need the warm
I need life
No more death
Just let me be
Free

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Filed under Poems G - I