I have to be sad to write.
Or lonely, or grieving, or anything that is the opposite of happy.
That’s what came to me the other day while sitting in front of a blank screen, beating myself up. I was on empty. The cursor flashing at me like a low fuel light.
I realized something I already knew. I write best when I am swallowed by sadness. And sometimes nostalgia, which is also sad because most things nostalgic, for me, involve someone dead, something lost… times, people, places, things that are gone forever. Trying to hold onto those things, or rather, just refusing to let go, kept me in places that helped me create poetry.
I’m not saying I have let go. And I’m not saying I am completely happy. I’m just saying that writing from those sad places requires too much from me.
Submit? I thought about it. Maybe I could just fall back into those lonely crevices where the words hide and scratch off the scabs. Maybe then I could write something with heart. Maybe then I could bleed again. But going there, would make me a recluse once more. Hidden in my room, wallowing in a grave filled with dead things. A grave that would become my own.
If you’re thinking that whole last paragraph may have been a little melodramatic, sure it was. But that’s the closest thing to poetry anyone has seen from me in a while. Was it good? It felt good.
Aside from sadness, the only other thing that fuels my pen is life experiences. Being out in the world, living, loving, making memories. Drinking up the sun…
Over the last five years, I’ve written four poetry collections (one of which is not yet published), and one novella. Time to gas up, don’t ya think?
Now, does all this mean I’ve given up poetry? Does it mean I’ll never write again? Absolutely not. In fact, I still write often. Ideas, thoughts, a moment I want to remember. Short form stuff. And a bit of #micropoetry on Twitter. [Follow me!]
Stick around. I’m not done.