Once you have asserted yourself as a writer, you have made yourself a cup to fill. And once you have settled on a dissertation topic, you have unlaced the boots three sizes too small and you desperately need to jam your fat feet into them.
I am trying to write about things that I thought I could write about a month ago, but now I find myself distracted by sexier, flashier and more immediate things. I realised (too late) that I don’t particularly want to talk about my tortured mother/daughter relationship when I am just too busy having a good time.
This is a recurring theme in my experience of writing poetry to fill a quota – writing for the sake of a deadline and a grade. It is pretty stifling and manages to suffocate everything that you once cherished about your experience of writing. So what can I do to break myself out of this poetry pickle? Many great writers have some interesting examples of exercises, ranging from performing odd rituals (such as eating and shitting out a crystal repeatedly, thanks for that one Conrad) to simply waking up and immediately writing two A4 size pages of whatever pops into your head.
I say ‘simply’ and sound as if I somehow managed to do that “simple task” this morning, but, ALAS, no … I did not. I grumbled and rolled out of bed into a 9-5 temporary desk job (a means of surviving while I hunt for some type of actually meaningful job). I have no energy left to even exercise my writing ability, let alone turn it into something worthy of a Masters dissertation.
Though I know I will get it done, it is frustrating to feel held back from something you usually love to do. I don’t ever want my creativity to become a chore, it is probably just about finding the right ritual for you to break out of that writers-block-funk. Hopefully, for me, that is a ritual that does not involve consistently consuming and excreting a crystal.
Here’s a poem I wrote when I actually could write poems, kind of about writers block, more related to the aforementioned ‘too busy having fun’ syndrome: