I often write a few lines of poetry at bedtime. My mind is less able to maintain its strict linear-ness and all of life seems just a bit dreamier, as if part of me is already making that long descent into sleep.
But eventually my well of impressions starts to dry out if all I’ve been doing during my days is the same old routines, day after day. Even days on end of creating can begin to feel dull in their sameness.
So, yes, write poetry; also, give yourself new vivid experiences. Here’s an excerpt from Love Yourself Forward, which is coming out in my lifetime, as soon as it stops morphing, thank you, on the subject of “I have nothing to write about.”
It’s not as hard you might think. Write snippets, descriptions, incomplete sentences, incomplete thoughts, tones, and observations. Write feelings, drop hints. Describe, luxuriate in, and adore your subject. Eavesdrop. Chop up the lines any way that pleases you.
Write a poem about your day today. Write it just for you. Make yourself happy with your poem.
Your first objection: But nothing happened today! It’s boring. What did I do?
I’ll give you that. And I have two answers: One, write it anyway.
And two, give yourself some new, vivid experiences.
Here’s a story of how I did that, from about 2 winters ago.
Last night at 10:30 my partner happened to see a Facebook message from a friend, saying she was out of kerosene for her heater. My partner began pacing. This means she is thinking of doing something. She knew there was a gas station open all night that sells kerosene.
“But it means going all the way out to her place, picking up her containers, driving all the way over to get the kerosene, then back out to her place.”
“I’ll go with you!” I said.
Yes. I needed to. I’d been on my butt all day writing and doing web stuff. My head felt like little electrodes and cotton balls stuffed into a tired pumpkin needing sleep. But I wasn’t sleepy.
We bundled up and drove out into the night together in her pick-up. Our friend’s three little dogs came barking and twirling out her front door to greet us. The full moon shone in her yard like a hazy, white spotlight. She asked us to buy her some water, too. We picked up her containers and drove back to town, thinking and talking about no heat, no running water.
At the gas station a car pulled in blaring rap music. The guys who got out weren’t wearing coats. It was 17 degrees out. They had New York plates. After them came two local guys on a cigarette run. We got out a screwdriver and pliers and pulled the safety rings off the kerosene jugs, so our friend could open them with her crazy, zigzagged arthritic fingers. We filled them and strapped them into the back of the truck with a bungee.
We stopped back home and filled four gallon jugs with water. The cats had already settled in for the night. We drove back out to our friend’s place, checking out the new business in town, wondering about the five-car “traffic” on Route 11 going the other way, marveling at the moon. Our truck was warmer than our friend’s little house.
We got home an hour and a half later, ready for bed.
The dark streets and night life on our foray live inside me, feeding me images, feelings and moods I can add to my palette.
I’ll say it again. Feed yourself new, vivid experiences. This may seem like a trick. How will you know if it’s going to be vivid? You won’t, until you do it. And it won’t be, unless you are paying attention. Any experience can be new and vivid, but it we tend to pay attention more when it is a novel one.
This is one of the reasons we take vacations. Our minds and bodies love a change of pace. This strategy is about changing things up regularly, way before you’re flattened with monotony and definitely more than once a year. Similarly, if you normally flit and have tons of new experiences on a regular basis, give yourself some time to sift through those experiences.
Just writing a list of impressions and random memories can be a great way to see everything you’ve taken in, in a new way.
Inspiration Mindset is really a set of behaviors and attitudes that sharpen you as a receiver, appreciater and lover of this one, amazing life. You may not think of your art as your love letter to life, but at least make your living that.You may not think of your art as your love letter to life, but at least make your living that. Click To Tweet