My Not So Secret Diary


277. Explaining sobriety and recovery from alcohol dependency with Bee Sober Author and Ambassador Claire Hatwell writing blog My Not So Secret Diary AA Quitlit
When I started writing I was scared. I wanted to write because I loved reading, I had a romantic idea of being a writer, and it didn’t seem too far fetched, as I enjoyed the process of writing itself. I love writing and have from a young age, but that doesn’t stop me being afraid of getting it wrong, of being laughed at. In my recovery, I found reading the experiences of others to be super helpful. Not only was I learning from their experiences, but I was realising I wasn’t the only one, not by any stretch of the imagination. I saw that there was a way out, and that life without alcohol could be good. Great even. Seeing that was reassuring, because at the time, in all honesty, it didn’t feel that way.

I didn’t start writing to write a blog. It was just a way of sorting through my mind. Mostly I didn’t even start writing to solve a problem, but as I sat down and put pen to paper I found things flowed and seemed to begin to make sense. It’s very therapeutic like that, or at least I find it is, but then I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing. It might not be the same for everyone.

Years ago I started writing in my spare time. I live in my head a lot, so I’ve always got something ready to go down on paper. I wrote two books, but I never did anything with them. I found the idea of rejection so terrifying that it was easier not to tempt fate. Although I got to the point where I’d have been happy to send them off, I never did. I’d never let anyone else read my writing you see, so I had no point of reference. Well, except for uni assignments, but that’s a completely different way of writing. Having said that, I enjoyed writing those too. Anyway, those two books never saw the light of day, and then a few years later I binned them both. That makes me feel a little sad now, but I guess hindsight is always a great thing to have.

Last year, I started to write again and by that, I mean fiction alongside this blog and my book about recovery. It felt strange to begin to write down the ideas and stories I had in my mind. I felt like I was doing something silly which is weird when you think how many fiction authors are out there. Readers enjoy fiction as it gives them a bit of escapism, a way out of their day to day lives. I’m not sure what it is, but I feel like I need a reason to do something, so my writing needs to be justified almost. Writing this blog and my book, was okay, because there was the hope that someone who needed a little help might find them. Fiction didn’t fall under the same umbrella for me. I suppose also, even if you don’t agree with me, when I’m writing about myself it can’t be wrong, because I’ve lived it. When it’s fiction, and a story I’ve made up, it worries me that people might not like it.

I decided to hide, as I’ve done before, namely when I started this blog. I don’t write fiction under my own name, I set up another Facebook page, another Instagram and decided to see what people thought. Putting things out there is hard, because I’ve found, when you put so much time and effort into something, you want people to like it. It feels a little like your characters are friends so to have someone not like them isn’t a nice feeling. Slowly, I’m gaining in confidence, I’ve had some lovely feedback and reviews and it feels good to flex my creativity in a different way.

The problem is, I have so many ideas, I don’t seem to have enough time to get them all down onto paper! It’s good having a focus, and something to occupy my mind, so we’ll see where it goes.

Thank you as always for reading.

Claire x