First of all, I’d like to thank you for reading my work. You’re the sounding board that helps me to legitimize my efforts, and I cannot underestimate your influence in that department.
Every once in a while I need to re-assess my progress and see what can be done to refresh my inspiration as a writer. If you look at my archives, you will see an on-again/off-again pattern, where I’ll have successful months followed by droughts. I never plan things out that way, they just naturally unfold in that fashion. There are numerous factors that play into this phenomenon, but they change every time I go through the cycle. I suppose I can just call it artistic chaos and leave it at that.
This kind of sporadic output definitely takes its toll on my psyche, and many a time I’ll find myself wondering if I’ll ever be able to reach the level of creativity and spontaneity that once came so naturally (without the nagging doubts and irrational fears). Recently I’ve been reflecting on my past efforts, and I’ve pinpointed a specific project that gave my creative self license to play and have fun.
Starting in May 2011 and ending a calendar year later, I wrote a series of numbered poems consisting of 146 sequential pieces that reached varying degrees of success. I started that particular project when my life was in a fragile state, recovering from (what I know now to be) my first manic episode. I’d recently withdrawn from the Spring 2011 semester of college, and my future was up in the air. I had a summer to reflect on life and do my best to gear back up for school in the fall (which was by no means a guarantee). I needed something that would channel my thoughts and energy into something that I could be proud of, something that would give my life’s work a sense of meaning, thereby giving my everyday life more of a purpose.
That numbered poetry project propelled me back into my final year of college, and swept me through my poetry seminar and final reading with aplomb. The sheer volume of work I could pull out of my hat at any moment gave me an air of confidence and legitimacy with my craft, something I sure could use right now. So why not return to my previous successes?
The major success of that numbered poetry project was the platform it afforded me. I could exist amongst the forms, sampling from any and all of the senses whenever they suited me. Nothing was off the table, but there was no table set in the first place. Pure spontaneous creation was the only goal, and I was able to write, forgetting those filters that life had imposed on me for survival purposes. I’m hoping that by reliving this series of sensations, I can once again find the wellspring of unlimited inspiration–where poetry lives and breathes.
I encourage you, fellow journeymen and women–journeypersons–to rip a page from this book and take a break from rigid societal hierarchy and imposed filtration that we deal with at every waking moment of our lives. Free yourselves, if only for a few brief moments at a time, writing what comes naturally without question. If you do that enough, you’ll see a pattern emerge, and you may begin to glimpse at your true creative being–you know, the one who used to draw on the walls.