Now that the A to Z challenge is over, I can plainly see that my heart just wasn’t in it. My heart wasn’t in it last year either, but I think this year was worse. I haven’t been happy with my A to Z posts since 2018’s Dear Diary story. Since then, I’ve been forcing myself, and that’s evident in my writing. I’m not proud of it… any of it.
My hope was that pushing myself to do this challenge would get me writing again, but I think it has only made me realize how much it pains me that I can’t. Or can’t do it well. I don’t want to quit. I don’t want to give it up. I don’t think I could give it up. I just hate the products of my efforts, and I have for months. So. Fucking. Many. Months.
It started at the end of 2018. My posts became less and less frequent. Soon, I started disappearing for a few days at a time… then a few weeks… then a month. This has been going on for over a year, but it feels longer.
I remember the reasons I started blogging 4 1/2+ years ago, but those very same reasons seem meaningless now. I don’t have a mission, a goal, an endgame anymore (if I ever really did in the first place). Maybe I am writing just to write? Still, though, I feel good when I come up with words and terrible when I don’t. It makes me push myself, often too much. You can’t force it, you know? I mean, you can, but then it sucks.
I go back, sometimes, and read some of my old posts. And a few things jump out at me.
Let’s start with the bad: Evidence demonstrates that in my 4 1/2+ years of blogging, I have not improved, and have maybe regressed, with the state of my anxiety and depression. I’m also struck by how nothing I have written in the last six to twelve months is as good as what I wrote prior.
And the good: I wrote some damn good poetry, particularly, but also good fiction. Even my personal shit seemed well written. But the poetry… I literally say to myself, aloud, ‘Damn! I wrote that?!?’ I’m not one to pat myself on the back, but I was good. Was.
But the good, for me, as usual, is overshadowed by the bad. I imagine I will never recapture the quality (and quantity) of my past writing. Reading my old poetry, for example, makes me more sad than proud. Where did my inspiration go? Where is my muse? Gone.
And then there are the relationships. I used to feel so close to some of you, but now I feel like I’m on the outside looking in. Or on the inside looking out. Yeah, that’s more like it. Everyone is out playing at the playground, but I can only watch from my window. I struggle to go outside. And if I do break the chains and go outside, I feel like I don’t belong there.
Maybe I wish someone would come and be inside with me.
All of that aside, I do hope you enjoyed my a-to-z letters. This was my fifth completed A to Z challenge. I hope to continue doing them well into the future. It’d be pretty cool to say I’ve done ten of them someday. But that’s far off. You know, five years from now. Jesus, my son will be 20. Okay, I don’t want to think about this anymore!
p.s. — This was supposed to be my ‘reflections’ post after the A to Z challenge, but it turned into whatever the hell this is. I guess I reflected…? But I got seriously off topic. That seems about right, though.