Thursday, January 05, 2006

Jane Kenyon Poem about Writer's Block

Not Writing

A wasp rises to its papery
nest under the eaves
where it daubs

at the gray shape,
but seems unable
to enter its own house.

Jane Kenyon

This poem speaks to me right now as I look around my desk area. I see stacks of manila files in need of file drawers, piles of papers in need of sorting--and filing, bills that need paying, notes to self that need attention, car rental agreements for upcoming trips, forms to fill out. I move one pile, add to another. I am convinced I will be unable to write until I tidy up, unable to enter my house of writing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Almost midnight on the last (12th) day of old Christmas and I feel that the holiday madness is almost all gone from my brain and heart. I very much relate to the "piles of stuff to be done" syndrome. Two things that came into my mind immediately about that.

First, I once heard a writer talk about how she eventually realized that the daily stuff we all have to do, "like picking up the dry cleaning" is eternal and NEVER, EVER done, so that writing had to be placed before it, or writing would NEVER, EVER happen. For me, I believe that doing the other stuff first is really just a form of stalling because writing is SO important to me that it scares me. The fantasy that I can, will or should finish the STUFF first, reminds me of the fantasy that really feeling something painful is risky because the feeling might never end (all feelings, good and bad, come and go). Each of these fantasies keep me from doing something truly important. The writer also said she realized that the daily stuff would always BE there because it goes on and on, so why not do the writing first and then go back to the stuff--what's the hurry to do something that will never go away?
Second, and this one's a little silly, but I like it--there's a saying that "If you wait and wait to write, you're a waiter, not a writer."
Hope some of this has helped someone. I feel better to even have written this much. Happy end of the holidays all!