I Left Myself When I Stopped Writing

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I define stop as lack of passion; not that (metaphorically speaking) the ink ran out or the well of imagination dried out, or, that my hands literally failed to write.

I have to be honest. Passionate writing comes rare to me since the death of my father a year ago. I supposed to get over of this drama.  I used to see myself as a strong, aspiring woman who could easily pull herself up – even without the help of others.

I think this is the time to admit that I am no longer the courageous version of me. Not because I couldn’t stand for my own but because I couldn’t push myself back to the only thing that matters the most to me – writing.

A year ago, just a week after my father’s death, I found myself talking to my boss about some personal issues when  suddenly I broke down. The reason? It was because I saw myself incapable of letting the passion flow. Of course, I got few advises here and there. He told me it would eventually come back. He himself was a writer too, by the way.

Months later, I still write but not for me, not for my happiness and definitely not for my cause but for the money. I know, I know, that’s a shame for a writer to admit – afterall, we’re all about passion, aren’t we? The last months had been, well, idle times. They have been the I-do-what-I-gotta-do-to-pay-the-bills months. Writing deliverables are still sent with the highest possible qualities just without any personal connection to them, whatsoever.

I think the worst part is….. not getting excited what I has to write next. Inspiration doesn’t come easy these days. I mean, I did the walk, the talk, the trek, the beer, the workplace reformatting and all of those – but hell, my trigger is not here anymore – that trigger was my father.

I remember the times when I get excited just by talking to him about my next project; may it be personal or for a client. I remember jogging off early in the mornings and coming back home with a warm cup of coffee prepared by him. Most of all, I remember that I promised him a bestselling novel just a minute before his last breath left him

What I don’t remember is the feeling of being inspired; that passionate feeling that makes you get up in the middle of the night just to write, those moments when a character whispers to my head and makes me write them and most of all, that feeling of being able to connect between reality and fantasy.

I miss it all.

For I have left myself when I stopped writing. Now, I think I am just fulfilling duties but not the responsibilities of a REAL writer.

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43 thoughts on “I Left Myself When I Stopped Writing

  1. Oh dear… Your post made me a little teary because I think I’m in that place, too. I was hoping having fun blogging would restore that umph in expressing myself. It hasn’t. But I’ll keep at it if you will! Thank you so much for the follow. Look forward to seeing you around the blogs.

  2. Such a beautifully written, raw emotional post ~ wishing I could say/do something to bring that magic back into you… It is clear you have not just talent, but a passionate spirit that makes you care so much (about those you love, as well as with the things you love like writing & fully living). From reading the comments, I can see that many feel the same ~ and there is all the confidence that you will find a stronger/greater self with this time off. Wish you the best, and look forward when that day comes (and I am guessing soon…). Take care ~

  3. Lovely thoughtful post. Losing parents is hard. Being an adult when it happens makes it no easier in my experience. Adult orphans suffer just as much as their child equivalents. Having now lost both parents I know that grief is not something that goes, nor is it any less painful and raw. Time doesn’t heal. However what time does is overlay other experiences that initially distract from grief and eventually give it a different context and perspective. Parents want their children to flower and grow and with those other experiences the ability to regain what seems lost becomes easier. The process is not linear; grief will still catch you out and set you back and at those moments think about that cup of coffee and what your father would have wanted for you. That way your writing will be enhanced. Oh and thank you for the follow.

  4. First of all my condolences for the loss of your father. I went through a similar “writing” experience when my brother died. Allow yourself time to grieve…write about your father and all your fond memories of him and through your writing, he will be with you again, waiting with a hot cup of coffee. The passion will return when your heart isn’t quite so heavy.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. My own father died in a car accident when I was almost six. I can remember being angry at God but I got over that. I grew up being envious of kids with a dad. I don’t have memories of my dad and I don’t know why – he was in the Army and maybe he was gone a lot or maybe just the trauma of the family drama (won’t go into all that) just caused me to blank it all out.

    I sometimes wonder what our relationship would have been like. Would I have been a braver, more confident person basking in his love? I’ll never know. I’ve lost others (two stepdads, grandparents, my first husband, our too soon born son) and I can tell you, you will never not miss your Dad but you will learn that the pain will be replaced with smiles of sweet memories. Your passion will return- I see it just under the surface of your writing. Sharing your heart is healing. God bless you.

    • Vergielyn Cubol

      George, I am so sorry for your loss 😦 If only I could do things to make it better for you. Nonetheless, we can still, perhaps, write our hearts out to get by.

      Regards.

  6. Sorry for your loss! It is a tragic thing to lose a parent but our parents want only for us to go on and live our lives, be successful and don’t grieve too long for them. Your father will always be with you and will be your inspiration. Let that inspiration flower and grow, blessings!

  7. You have received some great comments and advice here, because you wrote about what was real and immediate and important to yo, and you wrote well. Give yourself time. And allow yourself to grieve, in your own way, at your own pace, then return to space of “normal” life. Go back and forth – it’s not either or. Spend time in both places – grief and normalcy. Even if your father were still alive, you might have a long period where you lose inspiration. Meanwhile, everyday life continues and changes are happening inside you, quietly.
    Thanks for the follow, and smiles to you.

  8. Honest and touching post. It seems you have some wonderful responses and comforting advice (it’s so reassuring how we all respond and empathize to each others pain).
    I have not much to add other than these things have little sense or meaning when we go through them and like an anesthetic they can make us “numb” for a while. It’s as if a part deep within is being excavated. Then slowly feelings creep back in and we realize we’ve been changed and deepened by the experience and we can do and understand things we couldn’t before. I don’t doubt one day the passion will begin to trickle in once more becoming a flood that reaches newly excavated parts of your creativity that were never reachable before. Looking back over many years I’ve always found it that way. This is not “the end” or even an interlude, it’s the prelude to something even better – maybe that novel.
    (Thanks for your follow which caused me to drop by.)

  9. Your post was both touching and thought provoking. I have lost my dad to Alzheimers, although he is still with us from time to time, I somtimes wonder what he would think of my blog, I think we share the same type of humour.

  10. I am sorry for your loss. Earlier this year, my mother passed after a long cancer battle. I know how hard losing a parent can be. Your passion hasn’t left you; it’s just lying dormant for now. Thank you for the follow.
    Peace ❤

  11. I only know it took me a long time to come to terms with my father’s death. I couldn’t understand how I could possibly exist without him in the world. Now years later it’s all okay. My strength returned. Yours will too.
    Thanks for following our blog. I hope you enjoy the stories of our journey, both inner and outer.
    Blessings,
    Alison

  12. A very touching experience. You might lost your muse, but you haven’t lost the ultimate source of inspiration, God. I pray He will ignite the fire anew in your heart. “I would have fainted, unless I had not believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalms 27:13

  13. I recognise this, both in the loss of father and loss of inspiration. I lost mine when I was 16 and he was 54.

    When I’m feeling down I can’t write a thing. Not even depressive stuff. I try, but I end up wanting to throw my laptop hard against a wall. I have a novel that I started writing with great enthusiasm, that’s almost done apart from the end of the last chapter and the tailend of another one – but every time I open the Word document I just end up staring at it.

    I think we’re ultimately inspired by people in our lives (love and anger are my two favourite sources of inspiration), and when these people disappear from our lives – whether it be through entering another state of consciousness or just plainly leaving (relationships etc) – our inspiration goes with them. However, I find that some day out of the blue I’ll experience something that reminds me of the one that used to inspire me – enough to get me going again.

    Sometimes it takes a while, but perhaps one day you’ll get a sign that your father’s still watching you – waiting for you to pull your finger out and write that bestselling novel you promised him 🙂

  14. Vani Devraj

    Ohh my God…. I can totally relate to this! 😦 Read my write up titled as writing blues. Maybe it might help you to regain your spirit… You want your father to be happy? Isn’t it? Then please try to smile, even if it doesn’t come from your heart. Make new friends! Or watch some sit comes, preferably of comedy genre! Believe me it will help. I know what you’re feeling at this moment. The thing is you aren’t sad but you just aren’t happy. Maybe try reading a good book to overcome your fear and you really need to share your feelings with others…I hope my suggestions don’t go waste! 🙂 please take care

  15. I haven’t written a thing in over 3 years now, since my wofe was first diagnosed with cancer. She died 16 months ago and nothing has come back. To be fair, I’m content enough with doing my blog at the moment but I’d love to finish my last book. Grief and changes can hit us in some strange ways.
    xxx Huge Hugs xx

  16. We as writers write because we have to get it out of us–because we cannot keep silent. It may be that you’re bottling up the hard stuff inside, or squashing it down so you don’t have to think about it. Or maybe it just feels like there’s a vacancy of content since your dad is gone. But remember this: Emotions are fuel. Our fears, our hopes, our joy, anger, sadness–these things come out in our characters, in our plotlines. Writing is a built-in venting system for you. Try to channel your feelings about losing your dad into your writing. And if that still doesn’t work, maybe try writing a different way, like journaling, writing fiction, writing nonfiction, writing poetry–whatever is different than you normally do. Do it knowing that nobody has to see what comes out of you if you don’t want them to. Then when you’re finished, read back over your writing. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something about what’s going on inside you from analyzing your own work.

  17. Matthew Bowers

    I can definitely relate to your loss of passion after your father passed. When my mother passed it was like my passion when haywire. I was scattered and was unable to express how I truly felt. I buried myself in work, driving myself hard trying to hard to let out the passion that was building up within me but I couldn’t release it. I forced myself to write in my journal, even if it was just a sentence a day.

    Each time I wrote I felt even more disappointed because words usually flow so easily for me. To my surprise, one day I had been talking with some people at work about dreams, mostly just listening. They asked me what my dream in life was. I told them. I was a simple dream. That evening I went home and started writing in my journal and it seemed like a powerful light beamed upon me. The images were filling my mind so quickly that my fingers couldn’t keep up. My heart was racing, my eyes glued to the computer monitor watching the words appears as fast as I could type.

    I typed through the night and the next day. When I finished I collapsed on the keyboard, tears flowing from my eyes. Then I looked up to see a beautiful short story which was based on the simple dream I had shared with my co-workers. It was also a story about coping with death and coming back to life. The story saved me and brought back my passion. The following weeks I wrote many more short stories, each depicting different aspects of the pain I had suffered and the hope that I still had inside. After releasing such intense passion within these stories, my passion resumed it’s normal state and writing became a joy in my life once again.

    • Vergielyn Cubol

      Sir Matthew,
      That was such an inspiring share! I know and trust that one day ( a day I hope would be sooner) I can write again the way I used to. 🙂

  18. If you were a sailing ship, where you are right now would be in a place called the doldrums; no wind, a flat mirror for a sea and repressive heat.
    In those conditions you must keep the ship afloat, keep the sails aloft and…wait.
    The wind will come back, the motivation will find you, your perception of time and time in reality may be two different things.
    However, if you don’t keep the sails ready, don’t keep the ship afloat, then how will you know when the wind picks up?
    Your talent has not left you, look back at what you wrote in this post, your ability to open your heart in text is obvious.
    And rare.
    And precious.
    I cannot comprehend that you dear father would want you to give up, so please don’t.
    Write for the money, if that is all you can do for now.
    But do not let go of your abilities and never forsake the gift you have.
    When the inspiration finds you, and it will, will it find you still ready?
    I fervently hope that will be the case.

    • Vergielyn Cubol

      Mr. Drayman,
      I woke up and this is the first thing I read. Thank you so so much. You have no idea how much your wisdom have help me.

      Regards from the Philippines.

  19. You know I think you rock Vergielyn – and I know that you ARE that strong, courageous woman. But the strong know when to be weak and it’s no shame to seek the help and comfort of others.

    I hope you are getting the comfort and replenishment you need to keep on fighting. The inspiration will come back. Until then, writing for the money is no bad thing. Every great writer has had to do it and as a result they’ve honed their craft to perfection.

    So, for now, learn your craft as a writer while you earn the money. THEN when the inspiration comes back you’ll have a rock-solid writing style that will move to your every whim. I can’t wait to see it! 🙂

  20. I lost my father when he was just 60 years old. It was hard, but I think of him everyday and, in many ways, he still inspires me. It takes a long time for the shock to fade, but eventually it’s replaced by memories. I hope you find your passion again.

  21. Perhaps we are one and the same, or at least we are sharing parallel universes. I too have been in the will-write-for-food-and-electricity line for about the past year. It has had its moments of joy but on days like today, when I have to slog through writing work to make enough for the car insurance, steal the joy for certain. However, might I suggest that you find a moment here or there to write a little flash fiction, to release the feelings in that way, to keep your creative juices just shy of dry? And if now is not the time, if it’s too raw, that’s understandable too. But you shared that space with us, here, now. Thank you, and know you are not alone.

  22. Yes, you are that courageous version of yourself. To have written this post, you must be. The death of someone you treasured and loved with your heart leaves a big black hole in that same heart and all the things you treasured mean nothing. That promise you made him won’t be broken. Believe me, I once made promises too. It took a long time to get from that place you’re in right now. To be truthful there’s bits of it that are always there. Passion does seep back. It may never exactly what it was but you can and will turn a corner and see that again. This is all too soon.

    • Vergielyn Cubol

      My friend, isn’t it amazing how the art we have connects us even if you are from the other side of the world :)? Thank you for your kind words! I pray that the kicks will soon come back.

      Much love from the Philippines.
      Vergielyn

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