I started my “first” poetry notebook earlier this spring. I say “first” because I’ve written poetry before and took a poetry workshop in college, but this was a notebook only for poems. I wrote in it from March 9th to August 17th, and though I still have a few blank pages left, it’s time for a new book.
March 9th was before my job went remote and before I knew what was coming. The notebook takes me through the “novelty” of having an extra week of Spring Break (or so I thought at the time), to trying to navigate how I can hold my life together. It captures the inspiration I felt from having access to so many author Zooms – events I wouldn’t have been able to attend if they were in-person, whether it was due to distance or having to find care for my son. Things seemed, if not bright, then at least “okay” for a time. Then it got harder and there was a lot of turmoil in my life, a lot of anger, and it showed in my writing.
My creativity has been severely stunted for the past few months, and I feel like most days I’m doing just enough to live. And keep my son alive. Most things I think about are what each meal will be and what I need to do to make money. (Writing, people, writing! No OnlyFans links here.) Over the past two months, it’s been harder for me to let my mind wander for creative writing, and sometimes even to enjoy reading. This election (I know, I know, you’ve heard it all from everyone else) has been weighing heavy on me, and it’s showing me people’s true colors in ways I’m sadly not surprised by, but still angered by. And I know that’s on me. I’m letting these people live rent-free in my mind, a saying I read recently and have been fixated on.
And maybe it’s a strange time to feel the tides of change, but I’m feeling it. And I hope it goes beyond me, but even if it doesn’t, I want to harness this feeling. I’m writing for NaNo and I’m on track (yes it’s early, but still!). I was inspired to start a new poetry notebook, perhaps one with less despair than this spring’s, or at least more discipline in anger instead of pure mopey-ness. I don’t know what tonight will bring, or the next day or the next week or the next month or January. But I have hope and I have my thoughts and my words, and I’m determined to use them.