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The world needs drivel!

June 15, 2012

There are an awful lot of writers in the world, why should I presume to add to their number? I MUST!

How can I or any writer, especially a blogger, justify adding to the millions of words that seem to place such excessive demands on our time, attention and inboxes and to shower down upon us as unrelentingly as the actual rain is doing so at present?

A hosepipe ban remains in place in many parts of our country, and there may be some hope in that, but the question remains, who am I to, as it were, irresponsibly strew about such a precious resource?

I’ll try to add details in due course but for the purpose of this post it should suffice to say that I am that worthless creature, a barely published author and poet. Having spent inordinate amounts of my life reading and writing I find myself at something of a standstill. I’ve been trying to read “The Line of Beauty” since September. It’s well written, prize winning even, but I find the graphic homosexual content disturbing and myself indifferent to even the best literature. I’ve written precious little in recent months and as a result find myself under increasing pressure to justify my existence, something I hate to do as I’m only too aware of how little it’s worth. The problem I find in creating original work is illustrated by the following stern poem:

Advice to Other Poets

Having an overt political agenda is cheating
Having an interesting medical condition is cheating
Having an engaging personality is cheating
Being backed by one or more musicians is cheating
Drawing on one’s ethnic or social background is cheating
Referring to one’s gender or sexuality is cheating
Relating events from one’s own life or other lives is cheating
Having a sense of audience is cheating
Having a sense of humour is cheating
Conveying one’s own uniquely sensitive insights is cheating
The use of rhyme, metre or relentlessly repeated phrases is cheating
Only showing it to someone you love is cheating
Putting it away in a drawer so nobody sees it is cheating
Carefully reworking and rewriting the thing till it’s gleaming with perfection is cheating
Letting it all flow out of you regardless of sense or meaning as if you were some sort of spiritual medium is cheating
Getting a publishing deal is cheating
Fearlessly ignoring the danger of causing offence is cheating
Listening to other people’s opinions is cheating
Honestly examining the meaning and motive of every word is cheating
Devoting your whole existence to your art is cheating
Having any other profession or claim to fame is cheating
Offering advice to other poets is cheating

Oh indeed! Why should I or anyone bother when there is already so much good work?

Well, birds must sing, monkeys must chatter and writers must write, even if circumstances are unpropitious and they are not inspired or commissioned. I must press on, continue to believe that the act of placing words together has a mysterious value, and hope that just as water somehow generates life in its myriad forms so the addition of my words to the sum of human drivel eventually produces something worthy of the reader’s attention.


From → Poet, Writer

One Comment
  1. Welcome, blog, and congrats, John. Now I’m clearly a cheat, but I don’t care. Enjoyed reading your thoughts and look forward to more. Go, poet!


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