aqua fortis

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Poetic Interlude

To be perfectly honest, I haven't blogged lately because I've been experiencing extreme blog performance anxiety and existential blog-related angst. What if I don't have anything interesting to say? What if nobody cares about [insert random topic here]? Is it even worth blogging when there are so many other blogs out there with far more profound, useful or entertaining content than mine? You know, the usual.

So, while I recover from this funk (and, let me tell you, this particular type of funk is a lot less fun than it sounds) I offer you a couple of poems I wrote when I was a kid. These were written in one of many partially-filled journals I used to jot things down in. People seemed to really like giving me journals and diaries  when I was young, and I had a tendency to use maybe the first ten or twenty pages and then put them aside. I was not a good diary-keeper, though I tried. Entries were usually along the lines of "Dear Diary, today I went to the dentist. I got McDonalds afterward. On Saturday I had to visit my dad. We went to a movie but it was boring." Not even very descriptive.

Mostly I preferred the less diary-oriented blank books, in which I doodled, wrote random poems and stories, and practiced weird styles of handwriting. (When I was older, this changed to song lyrics and increasingly angsty poems.) Anyway, I was rummaging in a box in the garage earlier tonight and found a couple of these journals. One poem, appropriately enough, was about Thanksgiving. I wrote this when I was about nine:

Thanksgiving is a happy time,
A time to stuff your face;
Thanksgiving is a thankful time
To say a prayer of grace.

That's my punctuation--no after-the-fact editing. Apparently my unholy love of the semicolon had already started. And I really liked rhyming poetry.

I also wrote this strangely prophetic untitled poem about being an author. I had no intention, as you know, of actually being a writer until about ten years ago. However, at age 10 or so when I wrote this poem, I did already love the act of writing. Evidently the career didn't appeal quite so much.

If I were an author, I'd wonder who
I would dedicate all of the books I wrote to. 
Maybe my mother or father or uncle or aunt or cousin or....WHEW!
Or who I would write all my books for...
I don't think I want to be an author any more.

I find this highly amusing.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Writer's Block

One of my blogging friends recently talked about a corollary or, perhaps, expanded definition of writer's block that includes the difficult-to-ignore feeling that one's writing, to put it plainly, sucks. That the suckitude is all-encompassing and inescapable. And that feeling of suckitude keeps you from writing.

I'm very familiar with this species of writer's block. I guess if you're prone to it in the first place, it never really goes away. And I wonder how other people deal with it. Sometimes I have a deadline, so it's a matter of B.I.C. - Butt In Chair. I have to do it. It's my work and somebody needs to see it by a certain date. Then, it's like homework: there's just no getting out of it, and if it sucks, too bad. It still has to be done.

Other times I spend days or weeks in a funk; that seems to be my preferred M.O. I eventually get over it and want to write again; eventually get to the point where I'm willing to risk the suckitude. Why? How? Who knows? I guess because ultimately creating stuff is the only thing I really want to do, no matter how hard it is or how much it sucks sometimes. I can't help it. It's just what I'm meant to be. Nothing else will do.