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Once upon a time, I was pretty prolific when it came to posting new work. I know the first few months of my now long tenure at Lit. averaged almost a new post a day. Nowadays I struggle to put out two to three quality pieces a month.

What's the change in my life that has left my muse all but silent in the last nine months? I could chalk it up, to my recent marriage and the birth of my son, along with some drastic changes in my work life, but I'm afraid that wouldn't be accurate. The real reason for my lack of creative energy is the simple fact that I'm happier now than I've ever been.

Not that I'm complaining, make no mistake there. I am simply noting that as a poet, I am fueled by the unfortunate, tragic, and painful moments in life. Creating has always served as an outlet for those negative experiences, a way to make something beautiful and lasting out of something painful and fleeting. It's easier to write about pain and loss than to express contentment and peace. At least that's my experience.

I find myself wishing that I could be like other poets, such as Penelope who can take the simplest and most mundane of subjects and breathe life and magic into them.

Writing brings me a unique joy, and I find it horribly cruel that the emotional place I write from, so often has to be one of sorrow and regret.

That's all for now.

Bart

------
Smile if you're stupid,
laugh if you understand.


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Comments

The following comments are for "Happiness: the Anti-Muse"
by Bartleby

happiness
I've had much the same experience you relate - happiness doesn't leave you much you need to say.

I didn't write much til after my wife died. Since then, I've written a lot.

Congratulations on your wife and son: our loss is your gain, and we can't regret your happiness.

( Posted by: johnlibertus [Member] On: November 4, 2003 )

apologizing for happiness
egad, how obscene! never, never feel regret for loss of write-life due to being happy! happiness and writing are both their own rewards, and it is indeed possible to write and be happy at the same time, though i understand exactly what you mean, as a lot of my work is fueled by pain as well. Your challenge now is to choose, and find a way to execute, writing from the place called "joy."

( Posted by: Cybele [Member] On: November 4, 2003 )

"fueled by"
There is more to the muse than tragedy & pain. And yes, happiness can quiet the pen. Try going beyond happiness & think in terms of ecstasy - the muse dwells there as well.

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: November 5, 2003 )

This I understand, but
Some things we just express easier; I found that out when anger fueled some of my better poems. I totally understand where you're comming from, but I don't believe that's the end of your creativity. I know I can write ten times better (no exageration) than in the past because of not only my life experience, but also my acceptance of all those experiences and not just a narrow portion. I think the comfort you've felt in writing previous material will always be there, but as you accept the joy that has affected your life I think you'll find that new muse welling.

BTW, the revelation you've had on past writing as sorrow and regret is exactly why I welcome your new muse, where there's not just bitter confusion, but knowledge, humility and heroism. More's to come.
Never forget, my friend; we never stop growing up. Remember when we just wished adolecence would end? Oh, if it were only that simple...

Malthis

P.S. perhaps now is the time to revisit "The story stone"?

( Posted by: malthis [Member] On: November 5, 2003 )

Happiness vs Poetry
Ahh, the somber life! How I miss the tenebrous shadows of regret that shaded my existance as I paced the narrow cobblestone ruts of life.
To laugh! To chortle! To "tee-hee!" To guffaw robustly-
How I loathe happiness!
Actually, old shoe-I find it easier to write when I am happy than sad. Anger-well, that's a fuel that sparks many a good (and bad) idea! Nothing lifts my mood (by nothing, I don't mean NOTHING; there are some things that liven my mood just as well but this isn't the forum for such conversation) better than a well-turned phrase, or writing a scene that works on paper as well as it worked in my head upon first imagining!
Not that writing isn't therapeutic for grief or healing old injuries. I just think you should be clear on the "whys" of your writing. Myself? I try to avoid mood as a motivator. If I depended upon mood, I'd never get a thing done.
It is good you are in a happier phase of your life. Now, get your pen and write. If you have to do "robuse" upon it, do so. Kote Gaeshe? Same.
Moods and circumstances change like the weather. But a clean sheet of paper will not change until you put your mark upon it.

Cordially,
Alastair Gruell

( Posted by: Alastair Gruell [Member] On: December 7, 2003 )





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