Sunday, 14 June 2015

The Power of Community

So, I'm finally writing again. While I may have not constructed that sentence in the most positive of ways, I am happy to finally be allowing myself to enjoy the written word. I am however feeling the mighty force of lack of self confidence and this nasty thing called fear of failing.

You see it doesn't boil down to simple nerve's of an aspiring writer, I am still in the long recovery stage of a 6 month bout of serious depression. This combined with the normal fears of a writer can often lead to some of the most self destructive thoughts ever known possible. I have struggled for around 15 years with this issue and am only now, finally dealing with things the correct way. This is not a post based on craving sympathy, it is a post based on willing to share a little bit of my story as I start my new journey to being an eventual confident writer.
I like many others have always been my worst critic, and like a child trying to burn an ant with a magnifying glass am prone to this destructive thought process. Regardless of this fact, I am slowly (and I repeat SLOWLY) realising that me and my creativeness is nowhere near as insignificant as the metaphorical ant and I no longer have the urge to 'burn' myself with negative thinking. Well, at least not as often as I used to. This is down to more than just pills and therapy. There is something bigger at work here and I call it 'community'.

I have been lucky enough to meet a number of wonderful people via the book/author community online and am reassured in knowing that I am not alone in my issues. While there are many of my fellow creatives who share similar burdens, there are those of you who at the very least understand and are more than willing to offer up kind words, and plenty of support and encouragement. There are wonderful people who, in 140 characters or less have the ability to stop your negative thinking and simply put a smile on your face. And 99% of the time that is enough to change your thinking.
We offer up kinds words to each other because that's who we are as a community of creative people. But what I have been thinking about recently is the impact we have on each other without realising it. There are many of you who have shown me such kindness, with your enthusiasm for me as a person and as a writer. And those of you who are just willing to share a joke or a Harry Potter inspired innuendo, that can really lift my spirits. Then I started thinking about the people I am nice to, because I genuinely care for these people. Then I thought, I wonder if I make people feel better just by being nice. While we all type away on our computers to each other with a friendly word or a PSA of support for a fellow writer, what we are really doing is weaving an invisible thread of support between everyone in our community and that is a powerful thing.

I can honestly say that without this wonderful community of creative guardian angels, I would be nowhere near to being ready to write. Yet here I am, with the ability to write again and the ability to allow my creative muse access into the darkest depths of my mind. So thank you to every single one of you, even if we have only said one thing to each other by some form of social media. It all helps.
So yes I am still on daily medication for my depression and anxiety, which on some days are so debilitating that I don't leave the flat. But what I am more than grateful for is the community of bloggers, writers, and creatives alike that make this community something truly special. So when I'm having a day of complete social ineptitude, all I have to do is open my laptop and say hello to the many people who without knowing it, can really make me smile.

The internet can be so full of negativity and hate, with so many people happy to destroy each other through a few clicks of a mouse and a nasty comment here or there. I want to bring attention to the amazing people that create their own creative hubs of support.

So, I'm finally writing again. And although I say this with some fear, I also have confidence in the fact that I am not alone and that we are only a tweet away from each other whenever we need a quick moment of reassurance.

You people, are amazing and whenever we get that niggle of self doubt. Tell it to bugger off because our community is a powerful and positive force.

Thank you to every single one of you, and may we all continue to support and cheer each other on.