Is Writer's Block a Myth?
In a recent interview, K.Love the Poet said that writer’s block is a myth. Broken down, it’s best described as when a poet, or writer, puts too much pressure on themselves. They begin to doubt their God-given ability and force it out instead of allowing it to flow freely. And—I think I agree with her.
Is writer’s block a figment of our imagination? At that moment, there's an internal debate about whether we still have the talent or not. It’s a battle that most of us have gone through, and some haven’t made it out of. But that doubt is tough to overcome. Is that it? Writer’s Block is doubting your gift? I’m thinking out loud. I still agree with K.Love, the poet, but I don’t think it’s a myth. I think it’s something else.
“People have a lot going on. Their lives are busy, and they try to make time to write, and when they finally do have time, nothing comes out. It’s like, now what? What do I do? Am I even a poet anymore?”
Can you grow out of being a poet? I don’t think so. But, you can doubt your gift. Your favorite poet has doubted their gift at some point and, if they say they didn’t—well, I don’t want to call them a lair. So, I won’t.
How do you get over that doubt? How do you realize that you are a poet—and a bad mutha (shut yo’ mouth)? I don’t have a straight answer because it’s not a cookie-cutter situation. But I look back at my old poems. I re-read them. I listen to videos. I read other people’s comments. I do everything I can to fan the flames and try to catch fire again.
But, as TS Eliot put it in his interview this month From the Grave, “you can’t use last year's words with this year’s voice.” Meaning, if you read the poems and things you’ve written in the past and you try to emulate that, it could be an error. You could be trying to recapture a moment that you’ve matured from—and now, your life calls for you to be a different poet. Still potent, still real—but with a different voice.
It’s a problem, and as I said before, my way out of it may not be your way and vice-versa. Find your way out. Find your inspiration. If it’s music, listen to music. Take a long walk around the park after dark (but make sure you got the strap because folks are crazy these days) like Jilly from Philly. Be around your loved ones. Listen to other poets drop some bars. Find what makes you tick and then tick. The world needs your words, so please overcome your doubt—or writer's block (if that’s what you want to call it) and spit. We need you—your poetry matters.