Language is fossil poetry. Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I haven’t written in a while I almost fear starting again…the anxiety starts “what if I’m not good enough.” Or “everything has been said before” I wonder is my voice necessary? And then I read some really good writing and think that yes, every voice is necessary. No one has lived through your experiences but you. And then it’s just one word at a time even if no one sees it but you. That’s why I constantly go back to journalling. Starting with a blank piece of paper can be intimidating but how else can you work through the good and bad times but with language. I love this image that Emerson presents in this quote. What does it conjure up in your mind?
As Jay Parini writes in Why Poetry Matters, “What distinguishes human beings from other animals in the vast circus of this world is their ability to put ideas into words.”
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get the words right the first time…just get them on the page. Yesterday on my walk with the dogs I wrote the beginning of a story in my head, today I’ll get those thoughts on paper. Now get back to work!
The Writing Nag