Muscle Memory

When I began penning my first poem of the semester I began to feel nervous. I racked my brain for ideas, words, phrases that would offer me some inspiration or a starting point, but I had no such luck. I spent way too long staring at a blank page. I asked myself what if I had simply lost my ability to write a poem. What if my lack of writing over winter break had left my poetry rusty? Last semester, writing poems felt like muscle memory and suddenly, a month later, I had forgotten how to work my writing muscle.

Fast-forward to class where we had begun talking about sound. As a somewhat inexperienced poet, I tend to stray away from sound-focused poetry. Considering my newfound writer’s block, sound was not on my priority list- I needed something to write before I could contemplate how it sounds.

Fortunately, I eventually realized that nothing gets me more excited to write a poem than a challenge. I love difficult writing exercises and I quickly came to the conclusion that “sound” was just another challenging writing exercise. Rather than feeling frazzled by the inclusion of sound in my poems I am now eager to try my hand at it.

One Reply to “Muscle Memory”

  1. Rachel, I heavily identify with your newfound writer’s block and accompanying anxieties, I felt much the same about returning to poetry this semester. The only thing which saved me for the whirlwind this past week was the notepad app on my phone which I try to keep updated with ideas for lines, whenever they might come to me.

    However, I also don’t think this ‘block’ is always a bad thing. As writers we must change and evolve, especially whilst still undergoing education, so why couldn’t the newfound block just be your poetry taking a different direction? What I mean to say is, you may have a block when trying to write poetry in the same style as you have previously, but you might find you don’t have a block at all for something new. Either way, best of luck, and I look forward to reading your work again this semester!

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