Let’s Talk: Struggling to Finish Longer Poems

Hello everyone!

Today we’re going to be talking about something I’ve had difficulty with recently: trying to work on longer poems/longer pieces of writing in general. Most of the pieces I post on this blog are fairly short anyways, but even outside of blogging I’ve gotten stuck after writing the beginnings of a ton of different poems. It might be a result of my scattered brain at the moment, but there’s more to it than that. If you want to hear more of my thoughts on this, keep on reading!

First of all, I want to make sure I clarify that it’s completely fine (without a doubt) if you prefer to write short poems or if you prefer to write long poems or if you like writing everything/don’t have a preference, or if you don’t like to write poetry at all! This is just a short commentary on my recent experience with the length of my poems, since I’ve been posting short pieces almost exclusively.

There’s so much on my plate right now with the school year starting and trying to transition my other activities/responsibilities to a virtual or social distancing-friendly format, and I don’t have as much built-in time in my schedule reserved for writing right now. I’m not happy about it, but it’s what has to happen in order for me to get everything done and not rush myself with necessary tasks. As a result, I’m having little bursts of creativity throughout the week that I’ll scrawl down.

A lot of times, these bursts of creativity come in one or two lines, or an image I want to incorporate. I’ve been writing them on a fresh page of my notebook, taking them as far as I can before I lose my train of thought, and then just leaving them to sit until I can revisit them. By the time I can revisit them, it often feels disingenuous to engineer an ending to my thoughts, and I often want to leave them as they are, a few dainty lines dancing across the page with possibility.

Maybe the perfect endings to these ideas will come to me just as the beginnings did, but for now, I’m not really in a place where I can brainstorm and spend hours deliberating on what direction to take the pieces in. I’m missing my summer writing workshop and the hours we spent discussing and cultivating writing… regardless of that, I don’t want to stop writing until I have time to work on it more seriously, as writing keeps me sane and is sort of a coping mechanism even when I can’t do it as much as I would like to.

In the first phases of quarantine, I had sooooo much time to write and think and edit and deliberate on more writing, and I kind of miss that. Isn’t it crazy how different our quarantine situation has become over time? I would love to hear your thoughts on this and what your writing headspace/situation is at the moment.

Please feel free to leave feedback and writing challenges in the comments. I would love to hear from you! Stay safe and healthy out there.


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