National Poetry Month—this is not a poem

I haven’t written a blog in what looks like about 2 months and change. I haven’t felt like blogging. I’ve been in this odd vortex of family issues and my own world. It’s been a lot of downs with a few ups (one being Days of the Wolf—a Teen Wolf con).

It happens to be National Poetry Month, and to celebrate this month, I usually participate in 30 poems in 30 days. Yes, exactly as it sounds. Though it isn’t as difficult as Flash Fiction February. Writing 30 poems is a tough task, but usually rewarding (with maybe one or two acceptable poems). I mention this because some of those “downs” mentioned early are rejections from graduate study. I suppose I should feel used to this now, but it doesn’t make it hurt less or make me feel like continuing to write anymore. Rejection is an awful feeling, and never fails to be less burdensome. On top of already bad days, I receive these politely worded letters. No one wants to hear that their work is not good enough. I thought, though, that this year would be the year, and I guess I was wrong, again. Positive thinking has failed again.

Which brings me to another point. I decided that it was time to actually do something about my own education instead of waiting for someone else (aka a grad school) to help me—seeing as that possibility began to close. So I created a 16-week little course for myself to focus on reading and learning and studying the craft elements to make my writing stronger as no one else is going to. I may be a few days behind, but so far, it has been worth it.

As for the future? I have no idea. I want to give up so badly. I want to just drop everything and pretend I never wasted time on writing. It’s a crushing and awful. Yet is it the abusive relationship or am I just giving in to awful feelings of worthlessness? It’s hard to say really. I’ve spent a lot of time and energy into this field and to drop it? Well, it would be difficult. I had a lot of these same feelings last year, and they were much stronger and I didn’t give up then (should I have?).

Wendy Sparrow, a writing friend of mine, talked to me about the feelings I had. She said that a lot of writers have the “worthless hack” feeling—and I have seen other writers post or mention it. Maybe I am in good company. Maybe there is something inherently flawed in writers. Maybe there is something flawed within the system.

At the end of this month, I’ll be going to the 6th Annual Mt. SAC Writer’s Weekend. One of the best things about this weekend is the non-judgmental attitude of the workshop presenters and staff. We encourage writing as a creative process no matter the outcome. I love going because it feels so good to receive such good feelings for just sitting down to create something. I need that in my life.


7 thoughts on “National Poetry Month—this is not a poem

  1. Participating in art is never a waste of time. You simply need a break, a hiatus. Take a deep breath and let the other aspects of your life calm as they will. You’ll find your muse right where you left her.

  2. I identify all too well with what you’re saying here. I spend at least half my writing time feeling like a complete fraud. It sucks. A lot. But for me, it’s just something I need to do. Nothing (outside of the love of family and friends) feels quite as good as writing a poem or short story to some form of completion. My rejection / acceptance ratio is depressing, but I’d rather just focus on the feeling of writing something into the world that wasn’t there before.

    • Writing something into being can be awesome, especially if it feels good. I’ve written where I just hate every words falling down, and that just isn’t fun. But when it’s going well and I feel good about the words? Then it’s a good writing day.

  3. I think you are on the right track by keeping on with your own projects. As artists, and this includes writers and painters as well, we all get discouraged and feel defeated by rejection. We are not in charge of what others think about our work; however, working to improve, or simply to please oneself will serve to make us better at our craft. Furthermore, I try to always remember that writing and artwork are both subjective, and there will always be that one person that will like something about what I have created. That one person might be me, but even if it isn’t…Tomorrow is another day. Also, it is very true that family issues, illnesses, and deaths can hamper the artistic flow. What I try to do is focus my work on the sadness; although not the sadness itself, but rather as a gift for the one I love that is ailing, and dedicate it to them. I find this really helps with the stress of things that are bothering me, as writing and artwork for me can be therapy. Another thing to consider is that many people have become famous without even going to school. Have faith that you are an awesome person; which reflects in all you do…Hang in there.

  4. Think of it this way. They are saving you from many years of college debt for information and learning you can probably get on your own anyway. Explore the topics that interest you and keep writing. If you feel passionate about it, you will be adding to the beauty of the world.

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