CAUTION: DANGEROUS EXPLOSIVE. HANDLE CAREFULLY.

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I’ve had people come and go in my life. Some of these friendships were fierce and strong. They were relationships that I thought would never, ever fade. I thought I would always be close to these people. I would always feel I could spill my deepest thoughts with them. We would never grow apart. But as most friendships do in our lives, they softened and eventually drifted apart. To me, they are like fireworks in the tapestry of my time here. They light up my sky, hot and powerful and bright, wowing both of us before they finally start fading away. But they always leave a lasting impression, good or bad, and that’s something I can always count on. Even now, I’ve got some amazing fireworks lighting up my sky. I hope some of them last a very, very long time.

Like these fierce friendships, my writing is fierce and bright. It has lit up my sky at certain points in my life, and at some points, it has fizzled out completely. The last time I stopped writing, it lasted five consecutive years. So it’s interesting to me that just over five years later of pursuing writing once again, I’m burned out, like one of those fireworks.

The thing is, back when I quit for five years, I was happy. I was discovering other things about myself, just like I do when I make a new friend. Those five years were quick and fierce, and then gave way to a new round of fireworks. Writing came back into my life, but I feel like the current spark — that burst of energy and heat — has faded.

I’ve been cleaning for the past few weeks. I’ve systematically gone through every room in my small town home, pulling out boxes and bins, looking in drawers and cupboards, sifting through piles of what now seems like junk. I’m donating an entire carload of this “junk” to charity. The true junk I’m tossing into the trash. Other stuff I’ve been selling on my neighborhood FB page. It seems there is no end to this cleaning, but I know I’ll eventually reach a point where this particular firework burns out, as well. My house will finally be dejunked, clean, and organized the way I like it.

All of this cleaning seems to be allowing me an opening to clean out my writing life, as well. The fireworks of my writing may feel like they have faded for now, but I have a feeling they’ll light up once again when some time has passed and I’ve had a chance to reevaluate what I really want out of all of this.

But I have no idea how long it will be. Weeks. Months. Years. I don’t know. I will continue to market what I do have out there, but that is all I can do at the moment.

Like a fierce friendship in my past, I feel like my writing has faded for now, but has left an undying impression. Friendships can sometimes be revived, and I figure my writing can, as well. One day I’ll find it again, a tightly wrapped package labeled CAUTION: DANGEROUS EXPLOSIVE. HANDLE CAREFULLY.

Here’s to careful handling. The most important things in our lives deserve it.

Posted by Michelle D. Argyle

15 comments

J. B. Chicoine

Wow, Michelle–it’s ironic that I’m kind of going through the same thing right now. It’s actually rather freeing to admit that things have changed. If and when you/we get back to it, it will be genuine, not compulsory and forced. That feels really good!

Michelle D. Argyle

Bridget, I don’t think I realized you were going through something like this too! Here’s to hoping we both get back on track! I miss the “I HAVE TO WRITE” feeling. I mean, it’s kind of nice, actually, because I’m getting other stuff done in my life, but at the same time, I just feel this gaping hole.

J. B. Chicoine

There is kind of a high that comes along with that “have to write” feeling, but right now, I’m glad not to have that distraction hanging over me. I love being able to concentrate on other important things that I find more grounding than the whims of characters and developing plot lines! Come winter, when I’m more inclined to need a distraction to get through the cold and dark, perhaps I will open my door to a few new imaginary friends, but for now, while I am, like you say, “getting other stuff done in my life,” it’s good to have an “I’m busy, go away!” sign hanging on my door!

Maybe, just maybe, the “track” you are on right now is the right one, and there is no need to get “back on track.” Perhaps it’s just a matter of tracks merging when and where they need to. You are a creative person and you will always find a refreshing outlet, and it doesn’t have to be writing–the important thing is to create and put your heart into it!

There are things I want to communicate.

1. This is sad.
2. I trust your judgement.
3. I hope you don’t stop writing forever, selfishly.
4. I recognize that you need to do what’s best for you.
5. Breaks are awesome.
6. Don’t feel guilty, don’t feel regret. Do, live, be.
7. You are a beautiful person.

Michelle D. Argyle

Jaimie, I love that you put that in a list. Totally how I think, lol. Thank you so much for your comment. Your support through everything has meant a lot to me. I know your writing journey has been rough too.

Katy Glemser

I think you’ve expressed your thoughts beautifully. It is absolutely okay for you to take a break. I 100% support you and I know if you go about this (or anything) with an open mind and heart, you will learn whatever you need to learn and feel like a refreshed person.

And yes, trust me, your writing has left an undying impression. With yours truly right here. LOVE YOU!

Michelle D. Argyle

Katy, thank you thank you. I know probably nobody understands more than you where I’m at in this moment. *HUGS*

Hey Michelle,

These things happen. Every now and then you can get burnt out on writing. Sometimes taking a break is the best thing you can do to recharge, and I think doing physical work like cleaning is a great way to recharge.

That said, I’m sad for you that this is happening during the year you planned to focus on writing. That must be very frustrating. I hope you feel recharged soon, but you can’t rush these things.

Take all the time you need, and please know I’m always here for you, even when you’re not online as much. <3 No temporary firecrackers here.

Michelle D. Argyle

Holli, I know you’ve gone through rough patches too. I’ve been impressed with how you’ve just driven through, though. You’re right. They physical work is helping immensely with so many things! Thank you for your friendship! You’ve been a lasting firework. 🙂

Love you. Hugs.

Michelle D. Argyle

Thanks, Holli! Much love to you too.

Chantele Sedgwick

I’ve been going through a similar thing as well. Since around spring I think. I’ve been revising two books, but I haven’t started on anything new since then and have turned down a few invites for writing retreats, pulled out of a conference, etc. I’ve been focusing on being a mother and wife, my faith, cleaning out my house, genealogy, etc. It’s been a good break. I’m ready to dive back into writing once school starts in a few weeks, but for now, I’m enjoying life. I needed my break. It’s been good for me to figure out my priorities. 🙂 Good luck with your break and let me know if you need anything. I’d love to meet up one of these days.

Michelle D. Argyle

Chantele, I’d love to actually MEET YOU! But yes, I’m glad to hear you have taken a break too and that you’re feeling ready to get back into the writing. I’m not sure when I’ll feel ready yet, but hopefully sometime. I need this, and I’m glad I listened to my instincts and walked away when I did.

Andrew Blackman

You write very beautifully about not writing, Michelle. So beautifully, in fact, that I feel sure you’ll be drawn back to that tightly wrapped package one day. But in the meantime, enjoy the clear-out, enjoy whatever comes in to that empty space, and enjoy watching those fireworks.

Michelle D. Argyle

Thank you, Andrew! It’s nice to empty space for just a moment, anticipating what will come next. 🙂