A few days ago I talked about not writing for the entire summer. It really did not bother me that i had not written anything until I got to this end of summer and looked back with nothing to show for it. I am not saying I wasted my summer, nor will I ever say the time I spend away from writing was wasted, but I am annoyed with myself now, looking back.
I am not going to lament the poems I could have written, you cannot miss what you never had; a cliche which does have some teach in several realms. Nor am I going to beat myself up. Instead, I am going to talk about getting back into the act of writing.
Last night I came up with a line. I wrote it in my notebook, and just now I did a little fiddling and tried to develop it into something more. Well, it fizzled and pooped out on me. The line went nowhere and the partial draft died a quick, painless death. The more I write, meaning the more years I devote to my art, the one thankful constant is my ever growing ability to recognize crap I write. I have for years talked about the fact that I often cannot tell what is good and what is bad writing on my part. Well, that is only half true. If a poem meets my minimum threshold, then it's one of my babies and very little can be done to dissuade me from backing it up 100%. On the other hand, if the poem was like today's effort, then I can smell the stench from miles away.
But that's not the entire point, is it? There's always more. The practice of writing is just as important as the finished product, and if today's draft has taught me anything, it is that the worst of my sins is actually allowing myself to get out of the habit of writing. This, I am certain you already knew. Hell, even I already knew it. It's just that if I can't write a poem then perhaps I can write about the writing of a poem, and that, like reading or lively discussion of craft, can be considered practice.