The Way Back


If you want to be a writer, you have to write.

How many times have you heard this advice? You can’t argue with it and if, like me, you haven’t been writing as much lately, this seems the obvious place to start. Recommit to being a writer, whatever that means for you. It might mean taking that precious ten minutes in your lunch time to write or making one of Julia Cameron’s artist dates once a week. It might mean staying up late at night or getting up extra early to hammer out a few hundred words on the computer. It might mean scribbling in a journal or texting into your phone. It might mean submitting to a competition or a call out. It might mean writing a blog post.

You are a writer because you can’t not be a writer. And you are a writer whether or not you are published. There’s no predetermined benchmark.

Lockdown Lethargy

You’d think the lockdown would be the ideal time to write. No distractions. No visitors. No going out. Filling in those long lonely days with something you obviously love to do. Something that eases the pain of not being able to see your loved ones. Something that distracts from the fear about the future.

You’d think so. But not everyone is the same.

Last weekend, I wrote a poem, the first in a long time. It made me happy, not because the poem was the best thing I’ve ever written or is ready for publication. But because it marked the way back.

Living without writing is like living without a close family member, one you love intensely, who brings you joy and laughter and irritates the hell out of you.

We all know what that feels like.

Today I found a beautiful poem by Beverly McLoughland that perfectly captures the need to write here.

If you have been affected by lockdown lethargy, how will you recommit to writing?

Keep writing.

About the author

Sharon Hammad

Sharon is a writer living in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

By Sharon Hammad