Road disappearing into dark night, with stop sign

Going Through the Motions

For a while, I lost my trapeze mojo.

I looked everywhere: down the back of the sofa, at the back of the wardrobe, in the Kitchen Drawer of Doom… but it was no good.

Mojo was gone.

I’d drag myself into the studio and go through the motions, but my heart wasn’t in it.

Partly, I think, because of the big break I had during Covid lockdowns. I guess everyone’s familiar with that.

But that wasn’t the only reason. I can’t use that as an excuse now, after all. That hasn’t been an excuse since early 2021.

I lost my writing mojo at the same time.

It was like all the creativity had been sucked out of, and all I could see, all around me, was people doing what I should have been doing: beautiful, creative trapeze work. Wonderful, thought-provoking essays and books.

And here was me, calling it in. Desperately wanting to do the amazing things, but shrivelling up inside.

It took me the longest time to figure out what was wrong.

I was continually prepping for a competition. For an assignment. For a piece that would be approved by the arbiters of Good Writing and Creativity.

With my trapeze, I put myself under a lot of pressure to do big, crowd-pleasing tricks and try to tie them into music that would show me as cool, or arty, or edgy… but that wasn’t really me. I was creating for an invisible judge, and the random people on Instagram.

With my writing, I put myself under a lot of pressure to sound like the people I admired — and also to write what I thought I should be writing as a book coach. I was writing for my peers and colleagues, not for my readers.

Or myself.

When I let go of that need to Do Something Good, to do what was expected of me, to pass the assignment or win the competition, everything changed.

(Not consistently, I hasten to add. This is the end result of another week or so of little creative deaths. This is my reminder of how to come to life again. No matter how much better we know, we still gonna fuck up again. Cos we’re human.)

I remember the moment, too.

I remember sitting there, on the floor underneath my trapeze, fighting back tears, and just going FUCK IT.

Fuck this.

And I put on some music I love, music that isn’t cool or edgy or trendy, but music that moves me, and I just moved.

I forgot about the big showy moves, and let my body do what it wanted to do, and for the first time in months I was pleased with the result.

And I enjoyed myself.

So I wondered: what would happen if I did this with my writing, too?

What would happen if I let go of this need to be impressive, and instead focused on feeling and thinking on paper?

What would happen if I played around with different styles, and wrote questionable poetry, and fictionalised some of my experiences?

What would happen if I said fuck the rules and did something else?

The answer is: joy.

Joy happened.

And something else happened, too: my mojo came back.

The ideas started flowing.

And I thought, this is what I need. And if I need this — if I need more joy in my life, and doing things just for me because I want to — I bet other people do, too.

Which is where MicroBook Magic came from.

Permission to break the rules. To write a teeny tiny little MicroBook just for yourself, just because you want to. And everyone's loved it.

It’s been a screaming success, so I’m running it again in January, starting on the 10th — and if you enrol before midnight on November 30, you can join us for this year’s price.

All the details are here.

Come and write for yourself. Write for joy! Break the rules.

Now enrolling for MicroBook Magic: January! Start 2023 with a bang — come and write a nonfiction MicroBook with me, and actually FINISH and PUBLISH it before Valentine’s Day. 

Notes in the Margin

Sign up below for regular emails on creative writing, indie publishing, and the wonders of books.

About the Author Vicky Fraser