For most of my life, I have written poems and stories. I also love to read and always enjoy having a good book on my bed stand. Recently, I have been immersed in a project that has taken me away from writing poetry and reading. This project, still under wraps, has consumed the better part of six months. It has been hard, exacting and exciting work but I long for the day I can return to my first love – writing poetry.
Sometimes when writers are suffering writer’s block or stuck in an emotional quagmire, writing becomes a chore. At those times, it’s good to step away. Many years ago, I had the opportunity to hear young adult author, Laurie Halse Anderson (author of Speak), at a writer’s retreat in Rhode Island. She urged us to explore other creative outlets that might fuel our art. She recommended visiting art galleries, taking a painting class, dancing, acting in a play, etc. The idea is that, as artists, we should get out of the usual way we see things and jumpstart our art by dipping into other disciplines.
Although I sometimes feel frustrated that I can’t wear my poet’s hat for another month, when I finally come back to my notebooks, I will perhaps have a renewed sense of purpose and a new way of seeing. Like Halse suggested, my poetic self will come alive having had some away time. I can go back with fresh eyes and fresh thoughts.