Friday, 24 April 2020

Madeleine Barnes : part three

What do you find most difficult about writing poetry?

Holding space for creating is hard especially in a world that wants you to focus on producing things of monetary value. People will question what you’re doing and why you’re not making different choices, and they’ll pressure you to live a more prescribed life. Continuing on your path despite this pressure is tough, but I think the right people will celebrate your pursuit of an authentic life. From the outside, it’s difficult to understand the pressure that writers face or to fully empathize with how complicated and emotionally tumultuous the writing and publication processes are. It takes sheer resilience to continue. You must surround yourself with supportive, uplifting people who remind you of your purpose and your strengths. A great teacher once insisted that students block off time to write the same way they would make time for a dentist appointment. She was an outstanding teacher—if you’re a writer, making time to write is a matter of health. Finally, I live with chronic pain, which can provoke feelings of frustration. There’s so much I want to create, but sometimes my body and mind cannot be pushed further. I’m not a machine.

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