Hello to all of the lovely Opus Blog readers!
My name is Grace Hulderman and I am the new poetry editor. I am so excited to be involved with Opus and to have the opportunity to look at all of the wonderful pieces of art and writing that you guys are submitting! It is incredible to see what the student body here at Hope College is capable of creating, and soon it will be available for everyone to see!
I hope everyone had a great fall break and that you are all enjoying sipping on your favorite warm beverages, watching the leaves turn, and cozying up by the window in your sweaters and socks. Around this time of year, for us students, it can be easy to get bogged down by the busyness that the beginning of another school year often brings. However, it is important to be wary of falling blindly into an unchanging routine. Specifically, as writers and artists in this busy season, many of us will fall into long bouts of writers/artists block. However, I am here to tell you that writer’s block does not exist. That’s right, you heard me, writers block is a made up idea whose only purpose is to give us all an easy way out of having to challenge ourselves.
For the past month, I have struggled with my own creative process – I had hit wall after wall and began to start telling myself that this was only ‘writers block.’ But as soon as I developed that mindset, I stopped trying. After a few weeks went by I realized that nothing had changed. I was waiting for things to start up again, for something to jump out at me that would suddenly inspire me to write the greatest poem of all time, but nothing happened. This is when I remembered that a poem (or any creative work) does not just happen to us. As artists and writers it is important that we actively pursue our work. Each poem we write, each picture we draw, requires that we take time to think about what it was meant to do. What does the poem want to say? How is that brush stroke asking to move across the page?
In my poetry class, we have been talking about the importance of listening to a poem. Sometimes, even though you may set out to write a poem about heartbreak – it may lead you somewhere else. Our creative works are alive! Treat that drawing as though the lines are trying to form their own image. Although you may have penned that poem into existence, it does not mean that you are in full control of what it has to say.
So instead of allowing months to pass by without writing a single poem because you had “writer’s block”, take an active stance on cultivating your creativity. Listen to your art. Carve out time to watch the leaves fall off the trees. Go on a walk with no destination. And most importantly, pay attention! The way your roommate bites into an apple is poetry. The movement of water is a painting. The world is offering itself up to you daily.
Thanks for reading, write on.
P.S Here is a really important and helpful quote from Ernest Hemingway.