The Piece I Need To Write Before I Can Go Back To Writing About Other Things

Hello, I missed you too.

The last time I wrote and published an article on the internet, one year ago tomorrow, I got some negative feedback. It was just a semi-jokey tweet from someone I didn’t know, and I felt it was making a reasonable point. I didn’t know at the time that it would be the last time I posted something in an entire calendar year, and I wasn’t even that worried about the comment really. 

Since I posted my last piece, I have been sadder than I’ve ever been, started taking antidepressants, moved away from London, bought a flat, appeared on national television, got my first girlfriend, and been happier than I’ve been in a long time. For a person who spent most of the five years before the pandemic worried that nothing ever happened to me, it was an eventful year, to put it mildly.

None of that has anything to do with the comment I received a year ago; it’s just been hard to pinpoint which of the many factors contributed most to my year-long writer’s block. Maybe it’s just the 2020-present of it all, the way that we’ve had to hold down jobs, and take calculated risks, and not see our friends for months on end, and the grieving we’ve all been doing for our lives prior to March 2020.

Regardless of the reasons for the silence, the time feels right to plug the old machine back in, and see if she still flies. I am still a bisexual woman, I am still yet to attend a Pride event, I am still obsessed with carving a niche for myself in the world and becoming more and more okay with the idea that I am allowed to. The Phase started out as a place for me and my best friend to play together at one of our favourite hobbies, writing about the things we love. I still love things and I still love writing.

Here are some of the things I have loved since I last wrote an article:

  • Taking my dogs for walks with my mum
  • Ryan Murphy’s fabulously unhinged television franchise 9-1-1 and 9-1-1: Lone Star (don’t make me choose!)
  • Talking more to my irl friends about queer stuff
  • Hayley Kiyoko’s song ‘Chance’
  • The Apple Music playlist ‘Love Her, Lover’
  • The BBC Sounds podcasts Elis James and John Robins and Building Queertopia
  • The book The 2000’s Made Me Gay by Grace Perry
  • The LGBT+ network at my workplace being so inclusive and welcoming
  • The ten minute version of ‘All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)’
  • Axe-throwing with my girlfriend
  • Season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK
  • My orthopedic body pillow for knee and back support
  • John and Johannes on Strictly Come Dancing
  • Brandi Carlile’s new-ish album In These Silent Days
  • And, of course, Wordle

While I can’t speak for her, I know my best friend has been loving things in the last year too. Axe-throwing, for example.

I’m really excited to get back on the horse (to confuse my earlier metaphor) and to find out if I still have opinions I can wrangle into semi-coherent written thoughts. There isn’t really anything else to say at this point. 

If you’ve read this far, I apologise for tricking you into reading something so self-indulgent. If you’ve read this far, thank you. 

I hope you have things that bring you light. I hope that, even if they feel far away at the moment, you are able to find your way back to them, whether it takes a few weeks, a calendar year or a lifetime. 

A leafless tree silhouetted against an orange sunset.
A picture of a sunset I took on a walk with my dogs and my mum, while being Not Online and having No Opinions.

Author: Jodie Manning

Hello! My pronouns are she/her and I am an enthusiastic opinion-haver, mostly-amateur writer, once-published poet, and the person who makes 99% of the Taylor Swift references on The Phase. You can find me not on Twitter at @JodieKate and occasionally writing on Medium and jodiekate.com.

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