Poetry Pit-Stop #5 and Fear

Here’s some poetry (or “poetry” depending on your perspective) for ya.

Untitled (as yet)
Understand
I only love you
Nothing more
It comes apart quite easily
The pieces of my heart
for storage
at my throat
in my fingers
tucked behind my ears
It folds
A futuristic gadget
But I’ve knocked the pieces loose
Revealed them to be numerous
Far too
When you hold my gaze
and I
study the blue around your pupils
the creases in your smiling face
I want to be
what you like best
A grown up woman
No Sherpa required
A Galileo
breaking ground and turning back
only
to be sure your hand rests safe in mine
I climb our laughter
on ladders made from matching wood
I’ve no right to
beckon you forward
cast my furtive glance behind
stretch my fingers out toward you
I want to live inside the houses
built from beams of
our shared moments
Show me how to love quietly
without clutter
Help me hide the parts away
Put it back
Reseal
Re-package
Pretend you never saw
Too late
Again, I’ve given you
all
that you don’t want.

by Me (Gianni, duh lol) πŸ™‚

I recently read a quote by Robert McKee on the blog A Writer’s Path that reads:

β€œWrite every day, line by line, page by page, hour by hour. Do this despite fear. For above all else, beyond imagination and skill, what the world asks of you is courage, courage to risk rejection, ridicule and failure. As you follow the quest for stories told with meaning and beauty, study thoughtfully but write boldly. Then, like the hero of the fable, your dance will dazzle the world.”

Fear is my greatest obstacle as a writer (and a person). My fiction tends to be about fear and the horrible things that inspire it, but I’ve recently been confronted with the idea of fear as it pertains to the act of writing. Fear is what makes writing difficult for me. I’ve talked about it with friends, my supervisor… Wanting to represent your ideas in a way that does them justice can create a paralyzing fear. You’re afraid of putting the ideas down wrong, so you decide not to at all. They can live in your head, perfectly, instead. That last option sounds easiest, doesn’t it? Well listen here: it may be easy, but it’s not nearly as satisfying as writing it all down.

I’ve had the story I’m working on now in my head for YEARS. The thing that stopped me from putting pen to paper was fear. I could see it all unfold like a film in my mind, but when I went to record it… I froze up. I didn’t want the ideas to come out wrong, so I didn’t put them down at all. Until now.

Write the words! I know it can be scary (and I’m posting this for anyone who feels this way) but you have to push through the fear. You’ll be so happy that you did and you’ll learn things about your characters that you never knew. I just finished rereading Stephen King’s On Writing, and it’s been a huge help. He has some unflinching views on writing and courses for writers, etc that I don’t necessarily agree with, but the book is still helpful. I just believe you have to find your own way to the material. Do what’s best for you and your writing, find the best way to make the words come out. Work through the fear! If you can manage that, you’ll be fine.

This is kind of a random post, but I wanted to write it.

Hope you’re having a good week!

6 thoughts on “Poetry Pit-Stop #5 and Fear

  1. Fear. Ah yes, that. You know what Gianni, it’s always there, lurking in the background, but we do have to face it, kick it in the gut, and do what we have to do. And we always feel a little bit stronger when we’ve done it. Every time gets a little bit easier. Hell, yes, I understand what you are saying about having the book in your head for years. I don’t know whether I am good enough but I sure as hell know that there is only one way I will find out.

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  2. Your poem was gorgeous! There were so many lovely metaphors throughout it but the one that made me break out into a smile was “I climb our laughter”- so lovely. And I just rented On Writing! I’m really excited to dive in.

    And totally agree about the need to get past the fear. It honestly is all about practice. The more you write the more of a routine and a necessity it becomes. I would write a little bit each day for pleasure, but once I actually got a contributing job that’s when I noticed my skill sharpened. I had to write thousands of words each day- and *had* to. At that point, there’s no time to be afraid, you’ve got deadlines, haha! I’m happy to hear you’re kicking your fears butt πŸ™‚

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

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    • Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Marlen!

      One of my favorite aspects of On Writing is that he begins by talking about his own life and career development. It’s not just someone telling you what to do; it’s someone who’s showing you why he’s chosen these particular bits of advice to give (a hugely successful someone at that!).

      I can definitely see your point about deadlines making the fear far less threatening, haha. I’m finally getting into the habit of working even when I have no idea how to begin or where it will go. I’m glad to hear that it gets even easier with time! xx

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