How I Got My Groove Back

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In my writing I have always wanted to cover science and the environment. Climate change is one of the biggest threats to the survival of humanity, and I have always felt strongly about protecting and preserving the earth so we still have a habitable planet for future generations. Affecting this issue through my writing is the best way for me to find meaning and direction in my work.

I have also always wanted to write for a reputable magazine, one that wins awards and publishes provocative, investigative features. Writing features for magazines is my first step in becoming an investigative journalist, more than just a lowly content writer, and to eventually become a non-fiction author.

I achieved both of these goals last year with my article about ice storms in Eastern Canada and their relationship to climate change for Maisonneuve. The article was eight months in the making, so the process was long drawn out, but when I finally saw my article in print and my name on the front leaflet of the winter issue I was flooded with a feeling I’d not had in years: the pride and satisfaction of accomplishing one’s dreams.

This is what I’ve been striving for all these years! For the first time in a very long time I felt like a real writer again. I felt as though I was doing what I’ve always wanted to do, and this is just the first of many investigations into climate change related topics. For so long I’d been caught up writing on subjects that didn’t interest me, creating content that I submitted and never saw again. I felt as though my work had become meaningless and directionless. Until now, that is. The feature in Maisonneuve gave me my groove back.

Self-doubt is something that every writer faces, and in my case it’s especially nefarious because I don’t have a partner to offer moral support when things get tough. None of my friends are writers, and no one in my family does anything creative. I am, in many ways, on my own, and that makes things a lot harder than they need to be. Stephen King wrote in his writer’s guidebook On Writing something to the effect of “Writing is a lonely job. Having someone there to support you goes a long way.” If only I had someone by my side, how much easier would this journey be?

But life is hard. That’s just a simple fact. Life is hard and full of suffering and difficulties and disappointments and challenges. It’s the way which we choose to respond to our suffering that gives our lives meaning and direction. For a time I lost that meaning. Somewhere along the way, I forgot why I became a writer and what I wanted to achieve. But I have it back now, and I won’t let go. Right now, I feel like I can do anything.

Read my feature “Stormy Weather” on Maisonneuve

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