Modern Problems

I'm finding it difficult to write lately, although from time to time I do feel "struck" by an idea or other reason to write.

Last night I turned my back on a poem. I was riding the bus home and lines started rolling. I thought, I'll just toss these into the computer when I get there. But when I got home, I realized I needed to run to my mailbox (well, drive, actually) and I put that ahead of the poem. By the time I got back home, the poem wasn't there anymore.

I'm also unsatisfied with much of my writing these past few months. Even the last ms. I feel ambivalent about this. I feel like I'm very vanilla.

But I also feel tired all the time these days and it's probably contributing to this stretch of ennui. I'm physically tired, emotionally tired, intellectually tired. My brain can handle little more than shooting heads off zombies and 56 minutes of American Idol.

When I go through periods like this, the $64,000 question seems to be: what am I doing with my life.

But that isn't the real question.


  1. I know this feeling well. It will pass. At least I say that to myself over and over.

  2. I see you've already met my son, Ennui. Have you met my daughter, Apathy?

  3. Charles, here is my prescription: read only prose for a week. Do nothing to improve yourself. Relax. You'll be back to your old self in no time :)

  4. Is this a case of taking pleasure in others' misfortune, or simply feeling comforted to know that other writers go through similar spells?

    Don't know, but I felt better after reading this post. Thanks for feeling shitty. Sorry you're feeling shitty.

  5. I've felt only so-so about my work lately as well, but it's starting to pass. Rather than try to write something new, I've gone back to some older poems that have been needing attention and revised. Sometimes that helps bring the muse back into focus.

    And if not, I lay on the couch and watch American Idol, which doesn't help the muse, but does make me laugh.

  6. When I can't write new stuff, i revise. Or i take fav lines from the failed poems and do whacky things with them and get mixed results. i read books that inspire me--i read new poets who I've never read. I spend a day at the bookstore just reading and reading.