Crawling out of the slump

The lockdown seems to have dug me a creative ditch, and I’ve been slumped there ever since. I realize that the last thing I blogged about here was something I wrote pre-quarantine, but it’s not like I’ve not written anything else since mid-March—I even contributed one article to an online lifestyle magazine. Still, I feel like this is the driest of the dry spells I’ve ever had. I tried picking up novels to read for inspiration, but even that I didn’t have the energy to do.

One night when I was having trouble sleeping, I randomly revisited a playlist of music I used to obsess over back in college. I couldn’t remember which Arctic Monkeys track came up, but hearing it made me want to…create something. It’s not even the lyrics that pushed me, though I was a huge fan of Alex Turner’s (and Miles Kane’s!) writing back in the day. It’s the feelings that the track dredged up. They weren’t very pleasant emotions, but they were fuel nonetheless. So lying on my bed with nothing but phone in hand and Turner’s vocals flooding my ears, I opened my Notes app and began translating those emotions into actual words. It’s the first poem I wrote in a long time, and it’s about grief.

Perhaps I’ll be able to post the whole thing here soon, when I’ve chiseled enough personal rawness off the edges for it to be understood by other people. But writing it was cathartic. It made me want not only to write more, it also urged me to return to my other creative pursuits, like drawing. Since I couldn’t publish the poem here yet, I posted here a quick sketch that complements it: kintsugi.

Here’s to hoping I get to produce more soon! Art, whether writing or drawing or painting, can really be therapeutic, especially this time.

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