It feels like things are changing here in NicLand, and that is most definitely a good thing.
It’s now been three years since I finished my multimedia journalism degree and a lot has happened to me since then. When I graduated I felt mentally and physically stronger than I had ever done. I could walk further and do more for myself than I had been able to in the past, and my anxiety and low moods weren’t impacting on me anywhere near as much as they had done when I was studying for my A-levels and in my first year at uni. Yes, I was scared about what the future might hold, but more than anything, I was excited.
Fast forward two years and the story became very different. Even though I’d done work experience, an internship and a bit of freelance work, I still hadn’t found a fulltime job. I wasn’t getting out much during the week because everyone around me had jobs, and that meant that I spent a lot of time alone with my thoughts. I spent far more time focusing on my worries, my anxieties and everything and my OCD-like thoughts about germs. I started showering up to three times a day and changing my clothes, worrying that they would have germs on them that would infect the house. I spent a lot of time crying and not a lot of time sleeping. To put it bluntly, I was a mess.
If we move forward another year to today, things are once again different. In the end I made the decision to change things. I still applied for jobs but spent more time focusing on my writing than I had felt able to in a long time. I joined two writing groups, finished the first draft of a novel (which is now in its third draft), wrote some short stories and started writing poetry again.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a couple of setbacks along the way. I had to change my antidepressants to a different one a couple of months ago, and while I don’t think that’s the sole reason for my renewed motivation, I think it’s helped.
I went to university with the end goal of becoming a journalist, but really my dream is to be a full time writer. I write a lot and I love it.
I’ve accumulated some work that I think is ready to try and send out into the world, either through competitions or publication in magazines and anthologies. None of the three novels I’m working on are ready yet, but I’m hoping they will be soon. I’ve sent off some more applications for full time work and I’m going to start pitching ideas to places in the hope of getting back into freelancing again.
These last couple of weeks I feel like I’m starting to go back to being my old self again. It’s been far too long and I miss her.
Oh, and my boyfriend and I celebrated our seven-year anniversary this week, and had a lovely trip to the seaside last weekend to celebrate. More on that later.