how to be a writer when you're not writing
Today, the poet self stepped forth again.
I’ve been thinking about poetry. Thinking. Sometimes just thinking. The poet-self permeates all the other parts. The poet is always there.
But what does it mean when, some days, the closest we get to poet-ing is merely thinking about poetry? Forget the reading, some days. Especially forget the writing, at least in any serious way. Maybe a brief jot, a few words on a yellow legal pad, a digital note.
I spent a year freelancing, teaching here and there, unaffiliated full-time with an institution. A pandemic year when some days, my only human interaction besides my partner was a brief sidewalk “hello.”
I wrote a lot during that year. I wrote a whole book and started writing another. I wrote alongside my students. I wrote every day.
And now, over the last couple of months, in a new state, a new town, with a new full-time job and additional sense of purpose, still teaching joyfully, still facilitating, the poet self who has been holding everything together has stepped back a little bit.
It took a couple of weeks to be okay with that. I realized the things that had run dry—the experience of rich human interaction with many people every day, working with a live team, being around college students, even just sitting at a desk that wasn’t inside my house—rejuvenated.
I stopped worrying. The poetry comes back. The poetry comes back because it is always there.