Well… hello there. Do you remember me? My name is Melissa. And I write (occasionally) in this little space.
I swear to God I thought my last update was in September so I was shocked to see it was actually August. That made me feel even worse about being so neglectful.
The truth is, I just didn’t feel like writing.
My brain didn’t want to do it. I had things to say and share, but the words to say them would. not. come. out of my brain.
Even when I went on a self-imposed retreat to Tofino in November to go storm watching, I packed up my writing stuff thinking that a week of solitude in an oceanside cottage in the rainforest would kick my writer’s block to the wayside.
Nope. Not even a little bit. Not even to write a postcard. All my brain wanted to do when Sam and I weren’t tromping around on stormy beaches was draw rainbow squares, read, and watch all 5 seasons of Downton Abbey on Netflix. For the 4th time.
2016 has been the year of massive creative burnout for me – on every level and every medium. I don’t think I’m through it yet – or if I am the after effects are still being felt in a big way.
But then something happened this month… little whispers started swirling amongst my thoughts telling me to ‘write that down’ or ‘pull out your laptop’ or ‘your notebooks need you.’
And guess what?
I listened! I started writing snippets of things in notebooks, I started a few blog posts for FBC that I hope to publish in the new year. And I suddenly felt this nagging urge to come back here and write. So here I am!
So what happened?
I have no idea… I’ve been thinking about that a lot the last few weeks. Because frankly, if I could figure it out, I would freaking bottle it and sell it by the gallon to burnt out creatives.
I’d be so so so so rich.
Maybe if I get it sorted out I’ll write about it here. But one thing I do know is that I stopped myself from posting a few times because I didn’t have photos I thought were good enough. How stupid is that?
I’m so over perfect, staged photos because life is gloriously messy and I’ve been enjoying that the last few months.
Honestly, September through December have been a lot of fun. Messy, colourful, glorious fun and I decided to just enjoy it – with or without a camera, a pen or social media.
I made new friends, I went to new places, I did things outside of my comfort zone.
I cooked – a lot. Without recipes. Just throwing ingredients in pots and stirring them and seeing what happened. I didn’t write things down so I could blog the recipes. I didn’t take photos.
I took out my big camera for the first time in months – I even travelled with it. I made myself slow down and enjoy the process of setting my f-stop, my shutter speed, my white balance and capturing the moment in the frame.
I played with watercolours for the first time. I had no idea what I was doing and I still don’t and I don’t care because it was fun and colourful.
I read. I read books and magazines and… for the first time in eons… literally probably the first time in a year, I opened my Feedly app on my iPad and started reading blogs again. And I think that might have been what made me want to come back here.
All day, every day, I am immersed in food blogs. And so many of them have become a blur of recipe after recipe or review after review – often with the same design and photos that, while beautiful eye candy, are interchangeable. Many felt like they’d lost their human element: the person behind the blog who, in truth, was the reason I showed up every week, had disappeared in favour of a short blurb and then a recipe with a beautiful photo. I missed their stories, I missed feeling like I was reading a letter they were writing just to me with each post – a nice newsy, juicy letter. So I went back to my Feedly feed and started reading. I deleted the ones with no personality and now I’m enjoying the posts of those fun, newsy, entertaining friends who make me laugh and feel like I’m connected to them.
It felt like coming home. And it made coming back here a bit like coming home. I hope that I stay for a while this time!
And on that note, I hope you all have a very happy Christmas!