October 17, 2010 § 2 Comments
Writer’s Block sucks. In an equally painful, distracting, and frustrating way as waiting for a sneeze. But it sucks, of course, only for the writer. That is why they do not simply call it Block – because the lady down the street is not going to mind if she has not written a quality piece of poetry in several months. In fact, it’s unlikely to even cross her mind. So I suppose in some way a good, frustrating case of WB confirms both your greatest aspirations and your biggest fears – that you are, afterall, truly a writer.
What it doesn’t do however is produce art. So if you have in fact just confirmed both that you thrive on creating art AND that you are consistently and irritatingly NOT producing that art – the only conclusion to be drawn is that something must change! So this is the answer – Verbal Angioplasty. Verb, defined as: The process of removing a blockage with a constant barrage of words (Note: I wouldn’t worry yourself with checking the definition of this term – the dictionary is, afterall, so heavy – and you would have to flip all the way to the V’s … just trust me on this!).
The method to this madness has already been proven by Dolly Parton. She wrote (and still writes) at least one song every day. Sometimes, they are going to be silly. Sometimes they’re going to suck, but every once in a while you’re going to write a hit. Let’s say that there are odds to hit-writing: that one in every 34 songs written by a true artist will become a number one hit (this is a rough estimation). If you write only when “true-genius-inspiration” strikes (and we all know how often that occurs) it will take approximately 47 years to write enough songs to make your first Greatest Hits album … which should in reality be called a Mediocre Compilation of Songs that were Moderately Popular for a Few Weeks. If, however, you write at least one song every day, you can produce enough No 1’s to line both of your 40-foot tour buses with Grammy’s – and in only about half the time. (Further Note: I do not recommend double checking the math necessary to determine these numbers – they are long, complicated equations that involve the square root symbol and a few derivatives, so just continue to trust me here). Regardless, the conclusion is that skill and chance both improve with frequency. And in addition, perhaps it also lowers the pressure to create a quality piece of writing. Instead, now, the goal is simply a piece.
And why a blog? Well, because even as I am typing this I am fighting an insane desire to pre-write these poems and contemplate them for several days in order to determine whether or not they are good enough to become part of the public reading space. “Good Enough” is pressure, and pressure (unless you are a lump of coal) rarely produces anything beautiful. So then, you wonder, wouldn’t keeping them to myself prevent me from having to worry about whether they are good enough for people to read? Oh no, dear friend. How very wrong you are. For 2 major reasons. First, because a “poem-a-day” project done in secret would equate to a poem-a-day-for-a-grand-total-of-4-days-project. Accountability. Second, because an exposition of flaws (read: bad poems) is what truly breaks the mold. I can write bad poems all day long. In fact, often times I do! But when those bad poems take on a life that is greater than the crumpled pages of my notebooks… well, we still don’t have art, but we do have potential.
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