This winter, I attended a writers workshop and one of the breakout sessions was titled: “How to Overcome Writers’ Block.” The facilitator remarked that some mornings she had to “trick herself” into getting started. I’m fortunate enough never to have had that problem.
The Irish poet Yates felt that all his poems were channeled and he was only a facilitator. I often feel that way, and sometimes when I read a poem I’ve previous written I can’t remember the inspiration or even the actual writing of the piece.
American poet Jane Hirshfield remarked that she often has no idea where her ideas or words came from. I think if your work is divinely inspired it would be impossible to ever have writers’ block. Still, I will offer some practical advice:
1. I always carry a notebook and write down words, phrases, or ideas as they come to me.
2. I will often return to a piece I don’t feel is complete, or could use more attention.
3. I write haiku, or mini-poems (one sentence poems).
4. I read great poets, or become engaged in the art of others.
5. I go for a run or walk. As a kinesthetic learner, movement often triggers thoughts. I actually did write my chapbook “26point2 poems on the run.
Both Truman Capote and Mark Twain wrote best lying down.
6. I practice patience and seek solitude – a quiet mind is a blank canvas.