Writers Block – It is a real thing. It is a debilitating, stressful, frustrating illness…
One that preys on overthinking writers and bloggers worldwide. And guess what?!… I caught it! And believe me when I say that I caught it bad!
However, my name is Misty (a.k.a Gamba Girl) and I just kicked some writer’s block ass!! Boooooom.
Yes, it is true after a tough four months of working day and night to launch this very blog & adjusting to my new laidback (well, slightly) life, learning another new language, making new friends and really missing the ones I left behind and of course my crazy and incredible family – Writers block crept up on me – and wow did it cling on for dear life.
Days and days spent writing countless articles – all as shockingly terrible as next. From dull at best, to utterly pointless at worst and then some. Getting more and more frustrated I finally gave up – which is something I never do. I am stubborn by nature, possibly genetically even. I decided I needed to take a break from writing and just focus on getting the never-ending ‘to do lists’ completed. It really is amazing how you manage to cross out ten items a day, and replace them with 15. I never did have a head for numbers. Now, even less so.
Anyway, the days passed by, the weeks rolled in and I so did the deadlines for new pieces; not to mention my own. But nothing. No inspiration. No light bulb moments. No burst of literary genius. Nada, zip, zilch. I had a problem. This was not good. The worry and pressure to write something – made the writing that I did attempt even worse. There was no natural flow. I’ll be honest – it was actually utterly terrifying!! I had just launched a new food & travel blog and I couldn’t even write an article, even a postcard home was proving challenging. This wasn’t exactly something I had prepared for. I tried to carry on – focus on all that was happening and working and trusted that in time something would click.
Let me just explain that I love writing, describing my random inner thoughts and experiences in detail, with a little dash of dry wit, or so I like to think! So for me to be unable to transfer those thoughts to paper (or keyboard) is scary – and by scary I mean absolutely petrifying. My Grandad instilled a love of writing within me – it’s something that has become a part of me. He is possibly one of the most amazing human beings I have ever met. He is intelligent, sarcastic, brutally honest, witty and possibly the most unpretentious man I have ever known. We are cut from the same cloth. He taught me more than I ever even realised. Our years of crosswords on the couch, BBC documentaries, rants about anything and everything and those quiet moments that were the most comfortable and perfect for them all.
One day I caught the most perfect photo moment. Sitting next to him was my little girl; a mini-me. Rarely quiet was just at that moment silent as he read to her. History has repeated itself. She is unnervingly intelligent and hilarious – it almost scares me for fear of her teenage years to come. And there they were, two of my favorite people in the world. The photo will always be on my bedroom shelf no matter where in the world I may be.
I write – like he writes – from the heart. My writing is the one thing that no one but me has control over – as I type all of the innermost thoughts just jump out (sometimes slightly strange albeit) and even I get surprised at the results. It is one of the best gifts to be born with and I am forever grateful for that. Okay, personal ramble over…
Back to the point at hand. So one evening on a random Monday night we bumped into a group of tourists on holidays. We chatted about what we did and I began to explain what I did, the long explanation that I have become accustomed to. People nod and go along with my definition of ‘Food Blogger’ and the ‘Food Tourism’ concept… when all of a sudden one man responded with, ‘Oh my God, are you Misty, as in Misty the Gamba Girl?’
And just when you thought all hope was lost, coincidence drops by to say Hola!
As fate would have it, this lovely man had been following my blog since I launched that year. He enjoyed all my articles and recited some of the articles back to me as we chatted for some time. I couldn’t believe it – what are the chances?!… An English guy in a tiny bar knowing who I was, and following my blog.
And then it arrived, the bombshell moment…
‘So when is the next blog, I haven’t seen any for a few weeks?…’
Boom. Crush. Eughhhh… (That sinking feeling, that very second that you are utterly lost for words, when you realise that you may have to explain that you are unable to write because, well because, em, you don’t really know.
And it was at that exact moment that I realised. I had begun to sink into self-doubt territory. Over-thinking. Worrying about things that are not in my control, not now, not ever. Things that I will never know the answer to. Will people like my blog?!… Do I sound funny and clever and a little bit quirky? Or do I just sound slightly neurotic with a side sprinkling of dull? And the answer is, who knows! It is down to each and every individual reader. It’s like marmite. You will love it, or maybe you will hate it. But what is important, is I love it.
It is my release. Free therapy. A place where I can say anything I want and feel and even sometimes figure things out that I didn’t even know needed figuring out. So, that night do you know what happened?!…
I wrote my next blog.
And then another two. And finally when my tired eyes physically couldn’t stay open any longer I pressed save, I smiled and I had the best nights sleep in weeks.
Life has a funny way of showing you things or people, just when you need them most. And sometimes, if you are lucky enough, you see them.