The Loneliness of the Long Distance Writer

Day twenty-one of a thirty day blog challenge, two-thirds behind me and one-third to go. I should be feeling wonderful but sadly I don’t.

I’ve hit that wall where it’s too much effort to take a take the next step, where you start to question the reasons for starting in the first place. It seems such a trivial and insignificant thing to feel passionate about – why am I doing it, what’s the point? And at the end of the day who cares?

It’s very easy to feel sorry for yourself and difficult to stop that downward spiral when throwing in the towel seems the only viable option.So why do I feel this way? I know why I decided to start the challenge –

1.  learning to write faster and more effectively

2. working to deadlines

3. the discipline of sitting down to write a finished piece whether you feel like it or not

4. better time management

I’ve enjoyed every minute of the writing, that hasn’t been a problem at all. Nor has thinking of things to write, which is why I called this blog Wordgeyser. Trying to stem the flow of words inside my head, desperate to get out, is far more difficult.

I’ve looked forward each day to time spent writing, it’s a regular rhythm which gives me a sense of achievement, of structuring something out of random words or feelings. Some days are easier than others. I have many half written posts which went off in directions I didn’t expect and I’ll go back and explore them and see where they lead once the blog challenge is over.

Working to a deadline has been fun, pushing and challenging myself to see how far I can go, how much I can write in a given time, hopefully being more productive and increasing the quality of writing.

What I’ve really struggled with is time management. Blocking time to get this done would have been fine in the normal ebb and flow of life, but do it in a month when there are two long weekends away has been tough.

Not because I resent the intrusion, far from it, I want to be fully engaged with the people I’m with, refresh my brain, be inspired by them. It’s these times I’ve resented the writing, and have to remind myself why I started the project. It has been a huge learning curve, challenging yourself to be your best.

For some people it’s building up to do a 10km run or a marathon, learning a new skill, or taking up something left off years ago. For me it’s writing.

I have two projects I’m ready to begin working on this summer and in my heart this blog challenge has been a preparation for that. I’ve put minor projects on hold to see this challenge through and I’m looking forward to getting back on track with them too.

In the scheme of things this challenge isn’t important to anyone except me, but already I can see the benefits. The encouragement I’ve had along the way both in the comments left on posts and privately sent (anyone can email me at have humbled me , encouraged me and spurred me on when I’ve been ready to throw in the towel and go out for lunch instead.

For those who have been beside me on this journey, who have taken time out of busy schedules to read my daily posts, commented and supported the goal, thank you. Being in an ivory tower is very lonely and without you there making me accountable the path would have been so much more difficult.

I feel so much better already.

A weekend away is what we need to recharge spent batteries and get the gas tank back up to full instead of running on empty, and I’ll be back ready to rock and blast my way through the last third of this challenge. I hope.

About wordgeyser

Our anglo/american family used to live in four countries (USA, Canada, UK and the Netherlands) on two continents, separated by distance, time zones, circumstance and cultures. It has been a scary, enriching, challenging place to be. The only things guaranteed to get us through were a sense of humour and the amazing people met along the way. . . This year everything changed with a move for us from the Netherlands, – and a move along with us for our son and his wife from the UK – to Houston, Texas, the same city as our daughter. With our youngest in Vancouver, Canada, we are now all living on the same continent. How this happened, and more importantly why, will be the subject of this ongoing blog...
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7 Responses to The Loneliness of the Long Distance Writer

  1. wordgeyser says:

    This from someone who has the work ethic and energy of the energizer bunny – praise indeed! Thank you Linda, your example has been a real inspiration and not just to me.

  2. Jane says:

    Your courage in setting these goals for yourself, to unleash your (not very) hidden writing talent, and then being brave enough to “go for it” in public, is inspiration for us all. It’s certainly made me think “What have I always wanted to do?”

    I am looking forward to reading your future projects as much as I enjoy your blogs.

    • wordgeyser says:

      Thank you so much for this. I guess we get to a stage in life where we figure “why not?”.
      I don’t want any regrets about things I haven’t done. At least I’ll find out whether I can achieve the things I wanted when I was young. If I don’t, that’s OK, at least I won’t die wondering!
      I think we reach a life stage too, where the opinions of others don’t matter as much as being true to ourselves.
      Go follow your dream, what have you got to lose??

  3. MA Dmochowski says:

    I don’t comment much. Seeing the notice of your new post in my email in box is the highlight of my day. Happy Easter to you all! Glad to hear you are enjoying your holiday. Fodder for future posts.

    • wordgeyser says:

      Thank you! Will try and keep you entertained, although I’m never sure what the blog will be until I sit down and write, that’s half the fun. Travelling always provides fodder, even a trip to the store can be be wonderful blog material if you keep your eyes open. Hope you had a great Easter and got to spend time with the family.

  4. I happen to think it’s both admirable and amazing that, having truly achieved your four goals, you’re still willing to put up with the disruption and demands of the daily challenge. As you wrote in this post, you had four published goals and another unpublished one – getting ‘in shape’ for the bigger ones to come. It’s a great analogy that we can all learn from. Great post, great job!

    • wordgeyser says:

      This from someone who has the work ethic and energy of the energizer bunny – praise indeed! Thank you Linda, your example has been a real inspiration and not just to me.

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