How do you cope with The Panic of Never — or even dispel it?
Write something true.
It doesn’t even have to be poetry. I felt so much better after writing yesterday’s post. The shitbird went after me for posting it — you’re letting people know that you’re angry? and about things like a helpless baby’s dirty diaper? — but even those feelings are mostly gone by now.
Listen to a craft class, or even part of it.
Craft is indeed a vessel one can use to ride in and across the sea of feelings. The Writers Studio craft class reminds me of the components of that vessel: language and technique. Within an hour of listening to just thirty minutes of a craft class last night, new lines for the poem I’ve been working on arose in my mind — and I had the good sense to write them down.
Just leave a blank page out on the dining table.
I’ve been reading The Writer’s Workout by Christina Katz one tip at a time, every day. In Tip #26 she advises, “Just get in the habit of leaving an empty, ready page sitting with a writing instrument within reach until you swoop in as the urge strikes and scrawl something on it.” And look at that! I’ve already written two more drafts of my poem this morning — just because there was a page available for me to write them on!
Remember that there will be “good” writing days and “bad” writing days.
Maybe the most I can hope for on Mondays and Thursdays, when I’m on my own all day with the Critter and the Gnome, is (perhaps?) a journal entry and a line or two of poetry. The important thing is to put out the blank page and give what I have to give to it every day.
Everlasting is comrade to this moment’s
flash; glance away, it’s another day,
you’ve lost one chance but here’s another …
Another chance! Thank goodness! And from “Selected Recent and New Errors”:
Do you think the dictionary ever says to itself
I’ve got these words that mean completely
different things inside myself
and it’s tearing me apart?
My errors are even bigger than that.
Ah, yes. Mine, too.
Best wishes for a lovely weekend! What will you be reading?