When I get overwhelmed, I become paralyzed and accomplish nothing much at all. Welcome to The Downward Spiral. I just hit a wall today. My classmates weren’t overly critical. My poem wasn’t a complete bomb, but I just didn’t know where to go with it. The fact that the showcase was in less than 24 hours didn’t help matters either. Whenever I tried, nothing was happening. I sat down at a table. I spread my papers over its surface. I looked at them. I took a walk. I made no progress. It is incredibly frustrating. I was, however, able to help like 3 other people with their writing. I knew I had addressed some of the weaker parts of the work, but that created other issues. Conclusion = revision leads to more revision.
Hoping some retail therapy would distract me I headed to Smithville. It was quaint, but I was too far gone. Dinner cheered me up a bit. I regrouped and Peter offered to help a few of us in the lounge.
When Peter re-read my poem he basically said good job following the prompt instructions, now break away from them. Le sigh. Those were not the words I wanted to hear. When I first read the piece out loud in class, Peter had counted and commented that my use of instructions created a bond with my reader. I wanted to hold on to that. If I removed it, I felt like I had nothing. He also suggested that I needed to focus on the heart of the poem and remove the scaffolding to find a speaker. I sat there in the uncomfortable chair, stunned. Peter asked me a simple question. My response evolved into the piece’s title. And that enabled me to see the poem differently. Without this session, I would have been a mess (or maybe just more of a mess). I think it allowed my poem to grow from mildly amusing to something more. I almost used the word powerful, but I’m not sure it is completely accurate.