So, I took a few months off from blogging and social media to take time to recharge and refocus. I felt that I was burning out, both personally and creatively. I put myself into self-imposed social media exile – no Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram – and I stepped away from most of my creative activities. I continued to write in my journal, but I didn’t write much fiction, which was a difficult thing to do.
I was also trying to find a new job, something that would allow me to work remotely and not be a drain on my mind and soul. That was also difficult. I left the public sector and ventured back into the private sector, stumbling around a bit before I found my current position. Patience paid off, and I now have a job I enjoy – writing and editing – with a company that takes care of its employees.
During this period I spent my time with pleasant distractions. I became more involved in my yard and garden. I put up some raised beds, both store-bought and ones I built myself from wood pallets, and planted wildflowers to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. I also spent more time in the kitchen trying new recipes and experimenting with my new gas cooktop. In between I looked for a new job, submitted applications, and participated in a bunch of online interviews. Eventually, I received the offer I was looking for.
Starting someplace new, trying to find my footing and direction, meant that I needed to focus, so that was another reason for my break from everything. I wanted to get myself established and learn what I could, and I think it was a good decision.
Once I started feeling comfortable with my new job, I began to once again test the creative waters. The first step was writing. I had an idea I’d been mulling over that came from a dream I had a few months ago, a strange little love story that played over and over again in my head throughout the night.
It’s not exactly like riding a bicycle. I mean, I remember how to write, but the gears in my head seemed to have rusted over a bit. They needed lubricant and a little polish to get moving again. It was slow going at first, but now I feel like the machine is beginning to warm up and the words are flowing better.
I’ve also decided to test myself with a new endeavor: Painting. I picked up some acrylics, some brushes, and a pack of practice canvases and dove in. I’ve always wanted to learn to paint, inspired by my mom, and so I’ve been practicing daily. Nothing fancy. I know I’m not going to be the next Monet or Dali, but I’m having fun. I’m mostly interested in abstracts and I’ve been working on landscapes. I have a long way to go, but I think I’m off to a good start.
I’m now doing the things I love, the things I’ve been missing. The hiatus was good for me. Stepping away from everything helped to give me a new perspective, new focus, and new energy. The engine is still warming up, but it feels good. I have ideas to explore and new things to try, and my passion has been reignited.
It’s good to be back.