Date: August 19, 2021
August is, for many, a month of doldrums; a month of being stalled in the middle of an expanse of (you fill in the blank). For me currently, in my writing, I am looking out over a sea of words and I find they can be both menacing and deeply comforting; their proximity is a blessing and a curse. Being surrounded by them I feel that I am in a desert. But I also feel like it is a desert of familiar faces, staring out from the stories I’ve written.
Being surrounded by words could be interpreted as a symbol of the fact that I am struggling with several projects right now. It also reflects my feelings of being isolated from my inspiration, from the sense of purpose that I need to write. The emptiness is replaced by a deluge of symbols for me to wrestle with.
It is during this period of doldrums, this calm period of listlessness, of angst and anxious urgency, that I find myself writing more poetry. I always write poetry but now, in these particularly troubling times, the words that come are formed into sharp-edged images, elbowing out the other thoughts in my mind, and generally causing a commotion amongst the other words on a page.
I was deeply moved by poetry when I was growing up. One of the many poems that left an impression on me was the lyrics to Horse Latitudes, by The Doors, from a poem written by Jim Morrison. This poem led me to the discovery of works by other writers and poets, which gave me new ways to express the feeling of listlessness and dread that I was struggling with. It helped form a base for my writing, a pad to launch off of, which allowed me to gain confidence and write even more.
I am also comforted by knowing that I can turn to others for help. For me, I have my writing group, the Page Turners, which I can reach out to for their thoughts on my writing and on what I am trying to say. I also appreciate the various local workshops which are run by some amazing organizations (including Creative Colloquy, Blue Cactus Press, and Write 253). These resources and workshops can stir the winds just enough to get me moving again in a creative direction. Just enough of a push to get me back on track. I highly recommend you check out what these (and other local groups) can do for your artistic endeavors!