You stick to the routines you have set up, notebook observations, voracious reading, sending the work out to mags, even going to readings, but nothing seems to stick, or to work. You don’t know it, but you’re dry, writing and reading on empty.
Then one day you come across a poet you have not heard about before. There’s a review about her. A blog post on the site of the publisher. Three of her poems seem to knock you flat. (You’re a fan of the work of the translator).
Within a week the book is in your hands. You find some more blog posts. Mostly you go with the gut feeling that is now coursing in waves across every part of your body, tip to toe, with pleasure.
Oddly, you notice your notebook entries are beginning to brighten. Not in terms of content necessarily. But they are sharper, they have more bounce.
From nowhere, a poem gets accepted (the runt of the litter, the one you put in at the last minute, isn’t that the way?). You find you are still writing, but now it is with flow, like an athlete hitting full stride after months of winter training.
You can’t stop yourself. You begin to sense your life is going into your work in ways you haven’t seen before, in ways you think no one will notice but yourself. You keep this to yourself, like a folded banknote.
No one can take any of this away from you. You are writing. You don’t know what you are doing, or even if it is any good, but you are writing. It is the best feeling in the world.
Nice post. I see parallels for other artists – hearing a piece of music gives me that rush and sets me off playing/writing again. Your philosophy implies a generosity of spirit as well as great craft.
I so agree – it’s a real thrill to discover a new voice. I find it works cross-art form too – my writing always feels brighter after visiting an interesting art show. Intrigued to know who you discovered …
Lovely post! Recently a collection of poetry gave me an idea for a poem, just by looking at the title! And I love discovering new poets and finding I like many of their poems, it is so exciting.
I love the way good things can just arrive out of the blue.
You are indeed right, Anthony. That’s the thrill and passion of the fairy world
of literature: getting passionate, full of life’s vibrations,, and dreaming life and all,
releasing everything that has grown in you so far….the asrtistic work…
Love this spontaneous post which I’m sure will resonate with any writer. Cheers to you and your work.
As ever, thank you
Enjoyed this piece, Anthony! It reminds me of that Billy Collins poem, where he speaks of his joy at ‘something interesting going on in the typewriter’ (I’m probably mis-remembering, but you get the idea).’The best feeling there is’ is spot on! That ‘feeling’ makes up for the many other occasions when you wonder whether writing verse at all isn’t ,at best ,peculiar, at worst, a kind of mania, don’t you think?!
Yes, I must look up the Collins again -he is much more wise than he is letting on….
I really felt the feelings and the relief!
And what a nice feeling it is! the words falling from the end of my arm, sticking to the page like paint to a canvas… mmm mmm mmm 🙂