I think that it might be time I started to try and study at becoming a better, far more accepting writer. What I mean by this statement is that I need to try and accept that I do in fact have a gift; a good gift too, whether or not it ever really feels that way for me. I am probably chronically over-critical and I get that that isn’t entirely a wrong thing to be, a particularly inopportune place to find yourself at. However, something in this medium appears to have me constantly batting off against myself, as though the whole literary world is out there waiting, waiting, waiting to take me down. One new mistake and I’m theirs. One thing that I cannot simply do for myself is to write and see where that mere activity may take me in and of itself. Writing is fun if I can manage to let it be but that very rarely happens, there just this insipid, impossible to shake feeling that it will never, and I mean never, ever be enough. I don’t think, without feeling pushed, that I have ever actually been proud of myself regards anything that I have created, and I do say created rather than written even though, of course, that is ultimately what I do because my mind – imagination maybe – is searching for something much, much more… accessible? A number of words on a page just will not suffice, has yet to do so far in my time writing. Writing which is only ever as good as someone tells me they think it might be, and that is a tough crossroads to be at for yourself when it comes to such a solo craft, a constant craft that does urge feedback. And I actually think that that is pretty normal a thing to feel. It isn’t as if I don’t get that there are more writers than there aren’t out there who have severe troubles with the very same things, or maybe at a different place in the spectrum of uncertainties. Where to draw the line though, between you thinking that your style of writing is captivating enough, and that of a steady audience doing the exact same thing? It’s the point of no return if you decide to be ‘brave’ enough – even though I don’t think it to be all that brave an endeavour – to show the people exactly what you want them to see. To read and reread hopefully until they want more of your talent, your style of hand. Your stories. The bewildering over-use of rhyme in my work tends to, in my eyes at least, both strengthen and weaken my process. The sentences, lines, finished product of the poem way too dependent altogether, as though I am treating it like a person who deserves not to breathe until that is, they find a fresh new way for themselves. So far, I have not found that freshness, not only have I not found it, but I am truly wondering why I do it at all. Simple and harsh and suffocating answer and I wish it wasn’t this, but a part of me won’t let the need to create the perfect poem stop. And I have to start calling them something so, for now, why not poems. By rhyme, I don’t mean simplistic rhyme but rather a kind of strangling rhyme that is just loud enough for me to feel it and therefore move on to the next piece of the story in the poem with its aidance. It also absolutely suffocates any real and visible possibility of my imagination building any kind of a free-flowing story. By this, I mean that you will see in much of my poems that the same sentences are often revisited, which ultimately, and knowingly, leads to my often sacrificing a new line of character development as a natural and now all too common result. It begs the question, just how much of an actual imagination do I have rather than perhaps a mind that can only go on what the rhythm of words in my brain has on offer. This seems incredibly, incredulously even, fixed solid and that is what makes it all so very mind-bogglingly painstaking when it comes to my not knowing if what I have written ever holds any actual level of merit. Mine isn’t the normal approach because I am not normal; I think different, I see things differently, so I am told, but how should I know? Do I believe that I have the ability and prowess to create a beautiful and utterly unputdownable piece of fiction, i.e. a book rather than thousands of poems, because really all that the poems are is a way of somehow finally finding my real and comfortable style? Yeah, I do for sure. Have done forever, but having carried that belief with me so long doesn’t exactly scream out a physical bestseller in my hand, or your hand, does it now? Of course not, never will. Not until I let it all fall away. However, trying to cause the structure of my tight-knit rhyming scheme to crumble apart from the others and away, one brick of brutal precision per time, seems to be the main task at hand and quite damn literally too. Not the vocabulary that I can no doubt about it take on, that I need to be worried about, maybe not even my impatience with taking a little more time – any time at all – to create good fictional writing, which, thankfully enough I am trying to do right now with this particular article. Yet, fiction it ain’t, and there you are, no real constraint. So, another questions begs, but why do I feel so frozen inside of any poems that I write? Why do I feel like the world is watching, and why do I absolutely feel like I have gone twelve rounds with a pro boxer on its conclusion? Why on earth do I feel the same pressure most people might feel in a high-end job only I won’t get any of the rewards from a boss standing over me but for myself sort of accepting that I might just have landed the poem, on some level of goodness. Still not enough but something, something… something almost very nearly neat and suitable enough. Yes, this is perfection seeking, and ask me to stop, I won’t be able, course I won’t. I can try, and that means I can only hope that what I am doing right now, trying not to care about the world that I have undoubtedly built for myself around my writing, the words I choose, the fast-paced approach albeit seriously crafted movement of the line is a go in the right direction. I’m all over the place which, I am afraid to say, also are my poems. Fair’s fair, I guess, tit-for-tat and all that. Here’s to change, shackles off and away we go. Although, the fact is I am petrified by my inability to visualise any of the poems I write. I mean do people really get to actually do that, to actually imagine the visual which one particular word or words in a sentence might seem to evoke? That feels like a superpower to me, no word of a lie. And a superpower that might just make me finally slow my pace because as it stands the pace is seriously suffocating for the reader. Not me though. But of course the reader counts for everything in this instance. More’s the pity for me then it seems.