Every writer experiences a fallow period (or at least lulls in productivity). Call it brain-freeze, writers block, lack of momentum, apathy. Whatever it is, be assured this is ‘normal’ and all part of the creative process. But I have found an antidote to that frustrating, and sometimes depressing, part of the cycle. It’s called a POETRY EVENING!
Poetry, even if not your preferred medium of writing, can help set you back on track. It could be something to do with the short burst of inspiration that shared poems offer. They are the equivalent of a friend turning up with an unexpected tray of cupcakes when you were thinking about a tea break; they are the hors d’oeuvres of literature – concise and appetising in their completeness; they are the break in the clouds where the light shines through.
Poems read out loud are even better because they tickle our ear drums with all sorts of sounds, meter, rhythm, lyrical nuance and sensory stimulus. They allow us to conjure up images, associations and above all, poems make that creative part of our brain fire off special neurons of wonderment. It is scientifically proven that attending poetry evenings can substantially increase your written productivity and improve your health (actually I totally made this up but wouldn’t it be great if poetry and other arts were given the recognition they deserved.)
Last night, I went to my local poetry evening feeling somewhat jaded about my own work (brain-freeze, low self-esteem, working on too many things at once etc etc) and I did not take a poem to read. However, shamed into recognising that I was a POET who had failed to bring a POEM to a POETRY evening, I set about writing one on a scrap of paper in the break. Even more fantastic, we all contributed to a collage poem which was compiled and read out – we were collaborative CREATORS, united by poetry!
So now I have to get on with writing, as I have ideas for at least 3 new poems which would not have materialised without the inspiration of the POETRY EVENING. A big thank you to the Word Mustard crew!