Writing For The Sake of Writing

Writing For The Sake of Writing

How black people can emotionally protect themselves in the ...

What do you do when graduation this spring means completing a thesis you’ve lost your passion to write? How do you find the passion again, or at least find enough of it so that you can satisfy the school’s requirements and even your own? These are questions I would like to provide an answer to, but I am just as stumped as some of you might be. My problem is that my thesis is a short story collection. However, right now poetry is much more appealing to me than prose. Most of the free time I should have used towards crafting my thesis was used on crafting new poetry.

The switch happened almost without my knowledge. Outside of school, I attend a poetry workshop once a month, and at first, I would just listen to the other poets read their work, taking it in and pondering their genius. But then, I started participating. I started reciting my own poetry, and the feedback I received was exhilarating. There were notes on how to improve here and there, but mostly I was met with a deep understanding of my emotions in a way I have not felt from others when they read my prose. The succinctness of a poem does not allow for too much fluff, and it doesn’t allow me to glance over my emotions. If I am angry, the poem conveys that. It can become a molten lava, sweeping the coast, sizzling as it touches the ocean. If I am feeling light and airy, the poem has a way of turning itself into a phoenix’s feather, floating along a calm stream. The poem becomes what I need it to be in ways that prose simply does not allow.

I do say this with the caveat that my thesis still has to be completed, and there might be some people who are looking for some inspiration. The best advice I received from myself is to do what feels right. If you find yourself, like me, writing just to fulfill a requirement, is that really writing? I don’t know, but I do know that most of us, especially those who view writing as their craft, might feel a sense of guilt not giving the page the proper attention it deserves. “Writing should be fun,” one of my professors once said. “If you are not having fun, then why do it?” I do not agree 100% with this statement. Essays, to me, are rarely ever fun, but I do them because I have no other choice if I wish pass. However, writing a thesis shouldn’t cause more problems than it solves. In many cases, it can be a roller coaster of an experience, but I don’t think that it should ever feel like just a duty.

How do we find the umph to write our thesis while at the same time recognizing that it is not bringing us fulfillment in the way other styles of writing are? I first start by acknowledging that my lack of progress is not inherently because I am lazy, but because the deterrent is, at the time, more appealing. I say this because, as a society, we tend to allow the ideals of capitalism to permeate into our personal lives. We believe that the reason we do not feel like doing something is because we are lazy, when, in all reality, there are other extenuating factors that play into this dynamic. It is important to be kind to yourself.

Next, take a step away from the thesis, if you can. My plan for the weekend is to not even think about it; to only do the things the feel fun and right to me. I know the semester is rapidly coming to a close, but if you can sacrifice a little extra time to gather your wits, I would say that it is worth it. Lastly, and probably the most important to me, I am going to find a way to channel poetry into my prose to hopefully trick myself into believing I am actually writing poetry. That last idea is probably a long shot, but infusing the kind of writing I enjoy into the writing I am struggling with could help with finding passion again.

It is hard to curate a final project for school, no matter what it might be. However, I try to remind myself I am not alone and have a community of others trying to do the same thing. Knowing that I am surrounded by other writers striving for the same goal helps me put my situation into perspective. My thesis, in particular, is bigger than just me. When it is finished, and I go on to complete a full manuscript, I hope that people will be able to find themselves in my work and know that they, too, are not alone. Everything is a journey; all we have to do is take one step at a time until we reach our goal. I am keeping that in mind as I transition from this blog to my thesis. Wishing us all luck in these last few weeks! You got this!