Using Poetry as a Warm Up

I thought 2020 was going to be my year for writing.

In some cases it has been. My job has ramped up their social media writing and I’ve been writing social media post after social media post (I think I’ve written nearly 100 posts since quarantine has started and it’s frazzled my brain).

In other cases, I’ve completely fallen apart with writing. I can’t pin down a story. I can’t pin down an idea. I can’t even pin down my current emotions. Quarantine has slowly driven me into dullness. No matter how hard I try, I can’t get a creative moment out of me (besides in work). I’ve somehow overextended myself in a way I didn’t think possible.

And that’s after a year where I failed every writing challenge, failed so many of my goals, and didn’t get where I wanted to be.

Plus, I have to admit I started this post with a bit of desperation. I didn’t know what to write. It being poetry month made it harder since I’m not a poetry person.

So I looked up Poetry Month things. Maybe I could be inspired by what others were doing? Maybe I could do something similar and just get by this week. I have to write blog posts for work too and my ideas were starting to just…stop coming there as well.

Then I thought. Why don’t I try some poetry? It’s been a good decade since I last tried. I did some in school and on some forums where it was a quick writing challenge. The winner of each challenge would pick the next word or theme and we’d have 10 minutes to write something. Poetry was a quick challenge to write on forums in 10 minutes.

None of mine were good. I didn’t have the gift to write in that form, but it was a fun warm-up. I did it almost every day after school. And at that time I wrote story after story after story.

Maybe it would work again here.

So I wrote. A lot of really shitty poetry. So shitty I won’t even show you. I’d lose any credibility as a writer. But that’s not the point of a warm-up. When you warm up for an exercise it’s not supposed to be too difficult or going to help you build a lot of muscle or lose a lot of weight. It’s a warm-up. It’s supposed to get you started.

And at this time, it helped enough to get this post done. It helped enough for me to work out three topics for work blogs and outline them. It helped me get started again, even for a short time.

With everything going on, just a small amount of progress to what you want or what you need is a thousand times better than going no where.

Neon Sign with “We are all made of stories” on a wall with shelf provided by
S O C I A L . C U T

So write. Write shitty poems. Write fragmented ideas. Put yourself in a place that doesn’t seem like progress, but inspires you. Listen to an album while dancing around and repeating specific lines. Rewrite them a thousand times. Make a haiku and rework it a hundred times, until you can feel your creativity again.

Until you can feel a part of you again that you need to put down on paper.

It’ll help you get through this. And we’ll get through this together.

This got more sentimental than I intended. I wanted to make this blog more information than flowery emotion, but I suppose that’s not what I’m meant to write.

And that’s fine.

Let me know what you’re writing. If you’re trying any new things to get inspiration while in quarantine. Let me know what helps you make it through the day. I believe in you. And I’ll see you next week.

Like always.

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