Just imagine for a moment.
The love of your life is no longer wants to speak to you.
*When I thought my talent, my gift, for writing was gone, I was distraught.
This was something I was able to do, and do well since I was eight. I had no idea how to function without that component. This was the one thing that I had which I believed I could have complete control over. After the breakup of a boyfriend, after coming out of the mire of that toxic relationship, the gift was gone.
It was gone.
No prose. No poetry. No essays. No stories.
I cannot emphasize how scary that was. How frightened I was! How angry I was! I was angry at the relationship that almost killed me. I was upset that I lost three years with a man that whom choked me to the point of unconsciousness on the floor of a bedroom. In a house we didn’t even own, no less. The command that I had, of words and language, was gone. I was angry, resentful and completely heartbroken.
I had saved my life. I had kept my life, at the cost of the murdering of my gift. To this day, I have no idea how that happened. It was gone…completely. I hadn’t written to the fury and power that I had before, even when I was with him. In three years, I had written maybe 6 things. Even though I journaled (I’ve always journaled), there was no other creativity that came. Or would come.
All together, my writing drought started in late 2000, and ended in March 2004. For four years, I had lost my first love. And I had no way to get back to it.
I know what it is like when the words won’t come. I also know what it’s like when the words cannot even be found! I remember how helpless I felt. I remember how lost I was. I had described myself as a writer, someone who writes. I lost my gift and identity.
There was this creative black depression that I found myself in. I was too ashamed to tell people what I was feeling. How dumb I felt for staying with him. How much I hated him, which was a little less than myself. But it was my mother that asked me, “Are you still writing?”
“Are you still writing?”
These four words compelled me not to abandon hope. These four words where a lighthouse. Among this dark ocean of despair, someone was looking for me. Someone knew who I used to me, what I could do so well, and sent out an SOS. After finding the strength to get back to pens, paper and keyboards, I wrote my first poem in over four years–to a Maroon5 song (This Love from the Songs About Jane album).
It felt as though I was learning to walk again. The keystrokes were clumsy and unsure. I erased a lot, and rewrote. But it was there. It was there, and I could see it. The words were out. And I was free.
The dirty secret about writing which I am no longer afraid to tell you is this: you have to learn to fight. You must. Audre Lorde said there are times as a writer when you don’t write. She goes on to say those times are devastating, because writing is like breathing.
I remind you fellow writer, letter conjurer, page bender. There is a way back. There is a way to get back to your first love! The light will come. You are seen, you will be spotted in that ocean. Someone needs your talent. Someone needs your take and imagination. Someone is going to ask you, with concerned confidence, “Are you still writing?”
*For more information about my writing journey, you can purchase a copy of WriteLife on Amazon. Go ahead and click here. Consider it a lighthouse.