Friday, 5 November 2010
hat should we do when we can't write anything of any quality? Should we carry on working through the drought?
I've just come to the end(ish) of 600 or so lines of a narrative poem I started at the beginning of the year. Since the MA ended I've been preoccupied with finishing various projects that I just haven't had the time for until now, one of which has been the narrative piece.
Ovid needs further work too, but I'm stuck in the Battle of Lapiths and Centaurs and frankly I find the fights the least interesting tales in Metamorphoses: I have problems remembering which centaur has his head crushed so that his brains come out through his nose, eyes, mouth and ears; or which gets tangled in and trips over his own intestines. I'm sure I shouldn't admit this, but I don't much care: having recently read both The Golden Notebook and The Women's Room, a bunch of men, even ones with hooves, chopping one another up and pulverising each other with tree trunks seems no great shakes.
But I'm not getting on with anything new and that's the rub. Should I? Is it best to tie loose ends, or begin weaving new ones? If I finish everything, what will I do then? I'm afraid that
if I don't begin anything I'll forget how to do it and end up in serious creative panic. It's like beginning a new notebook: all those blank pages that demand brilliance but so often end up covered in mistakes and non-starters.
This is familiar territory, of course, and I guess it will pass. It's probably partly due to the post MA void: my life feels a bit like a new notebook at the moment. Perhaps I need to learn not to worry so much about the future.
Tomorrow I have some friends coming over for a Day of Meaningful Nothing, that is, a day of talking, voice-workshopping, cake and alchemical stew-eating and vision-board-making. I am so looking forward to a full day of creativity and I hope it might ease my panic. In the meantime there are just those dying centaurs to contend with.