Summer Slugging

The good news is that we’ve had a wonderful summer so far full of travels and visitors. We also know this may be our last full summer in our beautiful house on this beautiful bay, so we’re trying to MAX IT OUT. Our swimsuits are always wet and pooling water in the bathroom.

The not as good news is that writing is coming sluggishly, if at all. A lesson I’m having to learn over and over (and over and over) and over and over again is that I have to put in just as much effort–even more, I guess–to write bad and average poems before I can write any good poems. And then if I’m lucky enough to write a good poem, it’s back to writing bad and average poems again. So when I’m on a streak, like I am now, of hating absolutely everything I write, it’s important to remember that the bad poems are important too, that I learn from them and build upon them in order to reach the better poems. I’ve also noticed that when I begin experimenting with style or content or line, my poems all suck for a while (of course they do) until I begin reaching the point where my experiments are less forced and more…well, they evolve into poems I could have never written before had I not forced myself to step outside my rhetorical box and try something new.

Every writer goes through something like this. The difference is in the past I would hit a phase where I felt congested and frustrated, and I would just assume that I’d reached the end of my well (bucket?) of talent. Might as well retire. I won’t ever write anything good again!

Now I realize that that’s histrionics and anxiety disguised as self-defeating fact, that the only fact is that as long as I keep writing, even through the really bad stuff, I will continue to grow and improve as a writer and poet. You can’t exhaust your bucket of talent.

Bad poems matter too!

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