Sometimes it is hard to get yourself to write. You sit in your favorite coffee shop chair, order a warm drink, stare at the reflections on the shop’s front windows, tapping your pencil to the trad jazz in the background. Other times, you sit down and the world dissolves into each sentence you write; each line of poetry or prose oozes straight out of your brain and onto the page. The question that repeats is—how do you stay motivated to write? Do you feel bad about not feeling particularly inspired? Should one feel this way?
The answer is yes and no. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable with not writing. Usually, it would be easier to launch into a list of different ways to set the mood to force writing—putting on the right music, reading something that is inspiring, editing previously written poems—but today, I just want to encourage a little nothingness.
You see, this Tate Street High Society member has a hard time letting her mind go blank. I’ve never been able to “concentrate on my breath” or do Buddhist-style meditations. I can’t sit quietly without always having something running through my mind, not to mention my foot jigging up and down with restless-leg-syndrome.
Here is the thing…I fear I’m losing time. Rationale: If I’m not doing something, then I have lost that moment that I could have used for good, or truth, or beauty.
But today, I’ve decided time is time, and time should be more like a water that you can take a dive into, or let it support you while you are surrounded in its anti-gravity. And perhaps, just perhaps, we all need to allow ourselves to float for once, to finally enjoy the feeling of that weightlessness, of that nothing, if only for a few seconds.
About the Author: Abigail Browning
Abigail Browning, Founder and Managing Editor, a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, received her MFA in Poetry at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Abigail has poems either published or forthcoming in the Yemassee Journal Online, The Greensboro Review, Linebreak, and RHINO Poetry. In addition, she was honored to receive the Amon Liner Poetry Award, the Noel Callow/Academy of American Poets’ Prize, and was a finalist for the Linda Flowers NC Arts Prize. She also has a passion for jazz music and dance, and teaches swing-era dances in her free time: www.abigailbrowning.com. Currently, she is studying Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media as a PhD at NC State in Raleigh, NC.