With everything that's going on, writing will help you.
“Writing consistently is helping me process things and manage that pressure cooker consistently... without letting things build up.”
Well it's been quite the topsy-turvy year, hasn't it?
Here in the UK it feels like 2021 is starting like it ended. We went into lockdown right after the new year started in January, and whilst that doesn't appear to be on the cards (for now), more measures are being brought in place to help curb the spread of another new variant.
I've noticed something curious happen when there's any mention of “more cases” or “restrictions”. I've gotten more conscious of my news consumption in recent years, but it seems that all of this virus talk can get me constantly checking for updates whether it’s on my laptop, my mobile, through the TV… it's always there, just one little browse away. The 'breaking news' alerts on Sky News become a dopamine fix. It reminds me of the 'key election alerts' that featured on CNN's US election coverage last year.
And even when I don't check all of this stuff, it’s dfficult to avoid hearing about it. From conversations in the coffee shop, in the (non-news) media, from my mum... it's difficult to get away from. I've realised that these emotional hits, from the COVID updates to the polarising conversations that play out on social media, take a toll on us. This is all mental and emotional energy that we absorb.
Through our daily “normal” lives, we take on mental and emotional energy as it is without everything we've experienced during the pandemic year and the additional emotional bandwidth that this has come with.
Looking back, when I re-connected with my writing a few years ago, it had gotten to the point when there was so much going on in my system that I needed to process it. It was like a pressure-cooker had built up and I needed to start letting it out. It was really just the start of my writing practice (it wasn't even a practice then, to be honest, just sporadic posts here and there), and I didn't know why it was helping, or what it was doing, I just sort of… went with it.
I then went on to experiment with journalling in different ways. Stream-of-consciousness and journalling prompts and everything in between. I continue to journal to this day. Again, I didn't realise it at the time, but somewhere along the line I realised that writing consistently is helping me process things and manage that pressure cooker consistently... without letting things build up.
Writing that last sentence out and then reading it back to myself (like I did just now) is pretty cool. Bam. That's quite a realisation right there.
And that is why I feel, with everything going on in the world, with everything going on in my world, and everything going on in yours, too… writing will help.
If you've been meaning to step into a writing practice, I truly believe there is no better time to start than now (well, technically it was yesterday, but today is the next best thing).
However long COVID is here to stay, whatever happens in the next US election, however exhausting that social event is, whatever the situation with that sick relative close to you who you're looking after is, or with all those items you have on your to-do list, all the things you have on your plate… amongst the chaos of it all, your writing can be that antidote that unfrazzles and restores you.
With everything going on in your world, writing will only help.
As we enter 2022, I will do everything I can to help you start and maintain your blogging practice. I am convinced there's a whole unexpected adventure there waiting for you.
At the start, you might find it just feels... right. And then further down the line, perhaps a year or two from now, you'll connect some of the dots like I have done, and realise exactly what consistently writing – and publishing – has done for you.
I really hope so, anyway.
Become a blogger in just 3 weeks
I recently shared my free guide, How to start a blog (and enjoy it), which outlines my story, why I am so passionate about blogging, and some tips for starting your own blog.
If you've read that and find yourself wanting to start a blog, but you've never blogged before and find the prospect of doing so a little overwhelming, I've put together a little guide for you.
Starting a blog is all about gently building momentum, and my hope is that this guide helps ease you into writing and publishing in little chunks. You can find the printable prompts here:
Diary of an Indie Writer: a new podcast
After starting The Indie Writer back in August, I officially closed my previous blog and podcast (INF Club) earlier this month.
You can now find all of my podcast episodes since August on a new podcast, Diary of an Indie Writer.
I'm planning to use this new podcast to share my life as a writer behind-the-scenes, as well as honest, over-a-coffee-style conversations that I'm having with fellow writers and creators who are also trying to make an income doing what they love.
This month's episodes are a couple of conversations:
Episode 12: Anna-Marie O'Brien Anna-Marie grew up in Ohio as a fan of rock music and good books. After working for a record label in the early 1990's, she spent almost 20 years as a public librarian. She now coaches writers through their creative journey, and is currently working on her third book.
We talked about things like:
- Anna-Marie's career transition from librarian to writer - “When did you realise you were worthy of being an author?” - Anna-Marie’s blog to share her journey as she writes her next book
Episode 13: Jessica Pereira Jessica is a SaaS and digital marketing writer. You can also find her on Freelance to Fortune, a blog dedicated to her and other writer’s journeys to six figures. When she’s not helping freelancers scale her business, you can find her reading fiction and planning her next road trip.
We talked about things like:
- How Jessica landed her first client and became a full-time freelancer in a year - Jessica’s advice for discovering your niche - Jessica’s journey to 6-figures, and how she plans to grow sustainably – without burning out
Planning your 2022
Last week on the blog, I shared the ‘theme’ I’ve chosen for next year, and the written planner I’ve chosen to help guide me in 2022.
If you'd like something more detailed to help you review your 2021 and step in 2022, I recently came across The Year Compass, which I’ll be hoping to complete over the Christmas period, and which I thought that you might like, too.
Speaking of which, earlier today, I made a 5-hour roadtrip out of London with my parents and brother to Cumbria, to a little Airbnb cottage we’re staying in on the outskirts of the Lake District National Park. We'll be here for a few days, and I'll be hoping to get some rest and recharge time before the new year begins, and I officially start using my lovely new planner.
I hope you have a very merry Christmas and manage to find some time to do the same.
I’m Jas 😊 I’m a writer, self-published author and introvert. You can read my story over here. I’m not on social media, but I’d love to send you my little weekly newsletter.