Often, when we struggle with writer’s block, we don’t think far ahead about the consequences on not writing the books inside us, of leaving the poems unwritten and unread.
What is the cost of not writing at all? For me, the stories that actually turn me on inside, would not be written. It feels like I am cheating both God and myself.
What will I miss out on, if I don’t write? For me there will be no more poetry readings and people coming up to me on the street years later, able to quote lines from poems I no longer remember writing or reading. There won’t be a possibility of selling a chapbook or getting lucky and getting a real publisher to publish them. That would be incredibly exciting, although the odds are very long. Also, if I don’t write the novels they won’t be written and turned into TV dramas or movies. Again, long shots, but what are dreams for?
I will disappoint the people that love the poetry and treasure the way I write. I’ve had friends like that from high school and up. I even had a fan base in Portland when I was reading the poetry aloud. I will also disappoint myself with hundreds of poems on paper and computer files. And I will never know whether I could write a novel. Or yet it published or read by anyone. Learning a new skill, as one does in writing, keeps the brain alive. At my age, that’s a good thing.