For a while now, I’ve been thinking of a better way to name this section that deal with the writing craft. In the last issue I called it “craft” but that wasn’t poetic enough…
So this section is now going to be called Writer’s Block and will focus on offering tips, advice and a focus on form and craft when writing poetry.
“Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?”
~ Kurt Vonnegut
At one time or another you may have let this frustrate you away from writing but if you’re a writer serious about writing… then you can’t afford to let a writer’s block (real or not) get in your way.
For this edition, to play on the phrase, we’re featuring some quotes from past interviews about how they deal with having a writer’s block… As you will know we ask every writer we ever speak to about the dreaded writer’s block.
Writer’s block the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.
Do you every experience a writers’ block, if yes, how do you deal with it.
Kwame Dawes (2012.01)
Banish the concept of writers block. It’s not true. It’s something we made up.
The truth is writer’s block is essentially that maybe you don’t have anything to say. What you have to do is to say to yourself as a writer, even if I don’t have anything to say, I must make myself ready for when I have something to say. So for me [that means] craft, practising.
I write haikus, I write essays. Some of it makes no sense. It’s not really good stuff but I’m learning. So [that] when the idea comes, I’m ready for it.
Matome, 21 Poetry and a Poem (2012.02)
I forget. I put it on the side. I move on to something else. At times, it’s a case of taking a walk, talking to someone, having a conversation. I play the piano as well, so I get onto the keyboard and play hoping that it will stimulate my mind somehow. Sometimes, when you’ve taken a break ideas come.
Donald, 21 Poets and a Poem (2012.02)
I struggle quite a bit with that because I [always] try to push myself creatively. It becomes difficult because I try to beat what I’ve done before. I normally pray, I pray before I write, whenever I have a block I pray. And Matome’s process is one of the best, I also leave. Quite a lot of [my] poems I started, left them and [later] came back to finish. [The urge to write} comes back in various ways, through conversation, through music and other activities that stimulate the mind. The subconscious mind is fascinating in that even though you’ve left it, subconsciously you’re still working on it because you know you want to complete it. There are various ways but primarily I pray. Prayer is the best because I feel God should write everything for me.