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Friday, February 3, 2012

doubt not, O poet, but persist




Doubt not, O poet, but persist. Say, 'It is in me, and shall out.' Stand there, baulked and dumb, stuttering and stammering, hissed and hooted, stand and strive, until, at last, rage draw out of thee that dream-power which every night shows thee is thine own; a power transcending all limit and privacy, and by virtue of which a man is the conductor of the whole river of electricity.





There it is, we've made it all the way to Friday.  I've been reading the above quotation by Emerson for a few days now.  This is it, really, isn't it?  As poets, writers, we write in doubt, learn to create into and through and by doubt.  How to write in doubt?  Well, persist.  Fueled by dream-power.  

I used to think that the further I got in this writing life that 'things' would become easier.  No.  The anxiety over getting my work published increases.  I also foolishly thought that (having six published works under my belt) getting published would also become easier.  Again, no.  I thought by now I would be brimming with confidence over my writing, that I'd no longer feel nervous, and filled with doubt.  I thought rejections would be fewer and those I did receive would be easier to take.  But no, they are more difficult, more heartbreaking, because it seems the older I get, the more at stake there is.  I thought I would be the sort of person who could write no matter what, with ease.  And I do write no matter what, in spite of the long waiting to hear from publishers, in spite of rejection and potential rejection. But it is at times a quiet, dull hell.  

There is the work.  I say this to myself.  The work is really and truly what matters.  "It is in me and shall out."

4 comments:

  1. Such an honest and raw post. Beautiful. I love that little tea cup!

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  2. Chin up dear poet. You create beauty every day and for that we are all grateful.

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  3. Your posts are remarkably calming all by themselves, Shawna. Thank you for the peace your are bringing to people with your weblog. As a writer, musician, poet (under the tutelage of the great Claire Bateman) and film producer, I was very caught by this comment of yours: "I do write no matter what, in spite of the long waiting to hear from publishers, in spite of rejection and potential rejection. But it is at times a quiet, dull hell."
    This is IT, isn't it?
    Thank you for your courage and thank you for responding to my previous post - Erie Chapman

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  4. Thank you all. I hope in a small way this post might be a comfort to others who are at a similar point. Persistence is the thing...

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