The Anxiety to Post about Poetry

So here I am struggling for the thousandth time to write a blog post. I often start a post and then crumble under a frustrating feeling that I have no right to say anything about poetry, or should I say Poetry? I feel this way for a number of reasons including a riddling amount of anxiety that I’m just wrong. So in response I’m wondering how you all feel about being a writer and your credentials? A common theme in a few conversations and presentations I’ve heard lately is “the amateur” versus the formally educated. Do any of you feel that either is more valid and if so why? Also do any of you feel like there’s a pressure to be extensively educated before you can have an opinion worth stating in a group of writers? Do any of you feel there are biases against you in a writing community? I’m just curious and anyone who wants to share an experience or a feeling please do!

I think there is pressure on any group of specific study to be extremely educated before their opinions count or their work can be esteemed. In an article I read a while ago, sorry I can’t find the link, a successful graphic novelist urged that he felt extremely frustrated by this attitude that an artist needs to have a degree or be extremely well versed in the history of their art to start working. He felt that there should be a push for all artists to just start working as soon as they feel they want to be an artist. He got a lot of push back because other graphic artists felt that “we don’t need more bad art.” However I think he had a point. By saying there are certain credentials for being an artist, we’re taking away from what art is, don’t you think? I mean there’s always room for improvement and there are certain mechanics and techniques that improve the art, but art is an expression of oneself. Shouldn’t art just be a chill collaborative movement to share how we feel about being alive?

2 Replies to “The Anxiety to Post about Poetry”

  1. Gabi,
    I totally agree, I don’t think that artists require any kind of credentials, or some piece of paper proving that they went to school for their art. Yes, knowing about the history of your art is important, but I don’t think it’s necessarily something you need a degree to obtain. I think you’re also beginning to touch on the (sorry) accessibility of a college education, and the real issues most artists have funding their education.

  2. Economic accessibility is definitely a factor, since many won’t consider a person competent in a field unless formally trained. I think the most accepted way of calling oneself a poet/writer/etc is being published or making money off your work, but that isn’t a good litmus test, considering some of the most famous artists weren’t popular until after death (like Dickinson). So, just keep trying. Don’t let old people and naysayers deter you.

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