Sunday, August 8, 2010
I started this blog because I miss writing. In college I majored in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. Mainly I wrote poems. I loved expressing my thoughts through metaphor or telling stories in stanzas, sometimes stirring debate in class over what the poem really meant. I don't rhyme. Only Shakespeare could get away with that. I like spontaneous line breaks, alliteration, changing nouns into verbs and verbs into nouns and nouns into adjectives. It is fun to play with the English language. I'm not scared of its' complexity. I embrace the challenge. Admittedly, however, spell check was invented for me. All writers have flaws. Currently mine is the dreaded writer's block. I supposed I haven't been feeling in a particularly creative mood lately. It's probably because I'm out of practice. Writing is therapy, especially creative writing. It lends the ability to sort out thoughts in a clever manner and often provides a solution to the current life situation or problem. I think most poets have tendencies towards melancholy. Only those who truly feel can write. Take Sylvia Plath, for example. She could easily write "Daddy" due to a true Electra complex. Plath married British poet, Ted Hughes, and controversy swirled as their lives and poetry intertwined. Most critics, including those responsible for the movie, Slyvia, side with Plath and believe that Hughes triggered her to place her head in an oven and turn up the gas. In 1998, Hughes published a collection of love poems called The Birthday Letters, all written about his late wife. It was at this point in my research of these fascinating individuals, that I chose to go against the critics and defend Hughes, who even as the Poet Laureate , was so obviously still working through his emotions with a pen and paper. Hughes died in 1998, the same year of the publication that quite possibly cleared his name.
F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, "You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say." I often wonder if this is what causes writer's block? True writers, and especially poets, only desire to express candid thoughts and emotions. The great writers compose with such harmony it can literally change your life - Ernest Hemingway, Naomi Shihab Nye, James Dickey, Holden Caulfield, William Shakespeare, Emily Dickenson, Hughes and Plath, and even contempory writers like Pat Conroy, whose Beach Music is still my favorite book. Inspiration often instantly ignites in the middle of paragraph, or sometimes a sentence, of a novel or poem forbidding me to continue reading because I've finally forgotten what I WANTED to say - I've actually started to feel, and thus have something to say - and I have to write immeditely. I'm glad me and writing are becoming close friends again. I even want to hug my writer's block.