Why I stopped writing, and how I'm getting my voice back

It feels timely that the message Chrome flashed up as I loaded my browser today was “doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will”.

Because for a while now, I’ve been plagued by doubt. Sometimes it’s a nagging voice in the back of my mind, sometimes it’s all encompassing. As I doubted every word I wrote, I lost my voice in hundreds of unfinished stories and posts. In scribbled ideas and thoughts that never came to life.

I’ve also noticed that doubt manifests itself in a number of different ways. In procrastination, in apathy and confusion. It tells you that you don’t know where to start and makes you feel like you can’t trust yourself and your judgment anymore.

It’s been almost a year since I was writing regularly. I can’t just blame the doubt though: a number of things have happened in that time. I started a new job, moved, travelled, planned a wedding, got married. It’s fair to say I’ve had a big year!

But it’s time to find my voice again. This week I am challenging myself to push through, no matter how hard it feels. How awkward and clunky it seems. I’m going back to the beginning, to try and recreate the magic and purpose I used to feel as I tapped away at the computer every night.

Starting from scratch is not easy. And finding my flow requires focus, and the ability to say no to things. It means putting down the easy distractions of my Instagram feed. It means sitting still, being with my thoughts and not being distracted by work or the list of things I didn’t get to during the day. It requires perseverance, but it’s time to try. Because if I don’t do it now, I fear my old passion may be gone forever,

So, here goes. It feels good to be back.