Advice of the week: procrastination does not need to be your enemy, so long as you have a piece of paper and a writing implement at hand. Case in point: I haven’t posted a blog in a while. Was it because I didn’t have things to write about? No. Did I not write poems during the time I was away, also no. I was procrastinating.
This is not to say that sitting on the couch watching Glee all night is all apart of the writing process. It might be for some, but often that isn’t at all apart of what writing and creating art is about.
The type of procrastination I am talking about is when you step out of your comfort zone for a bit and look at the world around you. Be as observant as possible and live for a while without actively thinking about your work.
Often the solution to your writer’s block is not found on the blank page. It’s found in your the world around you.
Best part about this type of active procrastination: it helps you fall in love with your own work all over again.
So, while I WASN’T writing, I was searching for inspiration in the everyday life of a graduate student in San Francisco: doing laundry, cleaning my room, paying bills, revisiting old poems, playing the guitar, reading, talking with friends, family, colleagues, perfect strangers, and walking. Lots of walking. The beautiful thing about city life is walking through it and finding all the wonderful things that tourist have yet to find.
First walking trip was to the Golden Gate Park. Tourist haven you say? Not on a cloudy day.
Walking through Golden Gate Park help clear my mind enough to realize why I felt I was hitting a block in my poetry: I haven’t yet given myself permission to write about certain topics. The more personal it a work got, the more I put it off. So, I took a deep breathe, read up on some poets that were doing what I wanted to do (something that I’ll cover in the next posting), and dived right in. Got about 3 poems done after that. The last one was the hardest to write because it was in ghazal for and about a very personal subject. It’s entitled Dancing Wings and although it needs extensive editing, I think it is one poem I am proud of simply because I gave myself permission to write it.
Next time I’ll cover what it means to give yourself permission and what it takes to write like the greats.
Talk you next time.
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