Sonnet Sunday 43: Writer’s Block

This is one of those terrible sonnets that encapsulates a great deal about my personality.

I wrote it in undergrad around 11:30 the night before a paper was due. This, I am sad to say, was and is still not all that unusual; in fact, in grad school a few years later I strained my shoulder because I had spent too much time hunched over my computer, trying to finish a final project the night before it was due. At any rate, this particular sonnet was written instead of a 3-5 page essay, which I finished about an hour later.

I was also very proud of this one at the time of writing. In fact, I submitted it to one of those stupid online contests and got selected to be published in an anthology full of other suckers who were selected not for quality, but for willingness to pay the application fee. I did not buy that particular anthology, but I did decide to feature it as the first poem of my own ill-conceived collection. I mean, you only put your best stuff up front, right?

So if I’m disparaging it so much now, why am I publishing it?

First, because I’m laughing with myself at it, and at how ridiculous it is.

Second, because this week I published an ebook for work and attended the Festival of Faith and Writing. So it’s been a big writing week for me. And this seems like an appropriate tribute.

Writer’s Block

Originally written circa November 2003

I find that there is nothing quite so bad
As staring blankly at an empty screen
Or piece of paper, knowing that you had
Ideas to be written, or a scene
To go within a book. And then to lose
Them all, or maybe to forget the theme
Of the big paper due—not when you choose
To finish it, or written by a team—
But when professors choose, and just by you—
And you have nothing! This is Hell on Earth:
To lose your written voice, and you can’t do
A thing about it. (Muses laugh in mirth.)
When you, like me, are fighting writer’s block,
Pray to good Father Time to stop the clock.