• Debz

Trying to write

The key word being TRYING.

As many of you know (because I don't stop banging on about it), I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September last year and have been in treatment ever since. One of the things people said to me, in a slightly misguided attempt to make me feel better, was 'at least you'll have lots of time to write!'

Writing at Loch Awe 4 days before my diagnosis

And they were right... kind of. Yes I've had lots of time. More time on my hands than I've ever had before, tons of it. But I haven't been writing. Everything was just too overwhelming, too huge to try and turn it into anything other than screaming into the abyss.

I'm not the only person to feel like this. I chatted to other writers and they all agreed, when life gets hard - sometimes it blocks you. Like your brain can barely cope with functioning, never mind translating that onto the page.

So how do you get past that? How do you get over the block?

To be honest, I'm not sure. But one thing that did help was writing about something else, ANYTHING else. I was at Maggies Manchester one week, waiting for my chemo, when I found out a writing group met there. At first I resisted, being around a load of people cancer and trauma sounded like a nightmare. I could barely manage my own distress, never mind a room full of strangers.

After some gentle coaxing from my husband, I went into the room. And it was awesome. We didn't talk about cancer, we talked about writing. Everyone was in different stages of their treatment, some finished for years, some like me - right in the middle of it. But it didn't matter, we were all writers. I laughed, wrote some utter junk and had a great time.

I wish I could tell you that the group completely destroyed my block. It hasn't, but for the first time in months I can write something. This blog post is a start! I also started The Artists Way. Morning pages have been a revelation, an emotional one, but a revelation all the same. I'm excited again. Excited to write, excited to perform, excited to be a person again instead of a patient.

And that's progress.

Love and hugs


#poetry #writing #cancer #amwriting #writersblock

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