Monday, June 23, 2008

Manual Labor

I have been absent from the blogging world for the past week while completing a home improvement project. This project left my body tired and aching, but more importantly, it left my mind rinsed clean. At this point, I need about 10 new poems to complete my manuscript, and I feel poised to launch myself into the particular writing mood of generating new work. This is sometimes a scary place to be...facing the white page. It's not always easy to remember to take up my journal (with slightly beige pages rather than scary, pristine white) and just scribble lines and words and doodles until something coalesces. For me, there is a thin line between letting topics, ideas, images develop on their own and plotting a purposeful theme. The first option is often seen as waiting for the muse/inspiration, while the second can seem forced. If I wait for the muse to inspire a poem, I could be waiting a LONG time; however, if I set out to write a specific poem about X, Y, or Z event, the poem often feels stiff and unnatural. There's something in between that involves a regular writing schedule and a willingness to be open to whatever's coming next. And that can be a very exciting place to be.

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