I was once in a creative writing course in which the teacher asked us to write a poem. Now, in my creative writing courses experience there are always certain limitations on our writings. No genre fiction, for example. That’s a popular one. But this time, my teacher said, “Do not write rhyming poetry.” When someone asked why, he explained that writing rhyming poetry is something that is hard to do well.
That is ridiculous, I thought to myself. How will we ever learn to write rhyming poetry well if we’re discouraged from trying it? I felt a bit indignant, because it almost seemed as though he was saying, I don’t expect that any of you have the skills to write rhyming poetry well.
I want to write all the time. However, when I do sit down to write I feel very stuck. Easily stuck. And I think that school is the problem. It’s not because school takes up all my time (which it does). It’s because it has me stuck in the frame of mind that everything I write has to be good. Good enough to show to a professor. Good enough for a grade. Good enough to send to a magazine.
I get stuck focusing on whether or not something will be good, rather than just letting it happen. You have to write in order to write something good, after all.
Things (for me) to keep in mind while staring at blank pages.