This week’s exercise for one of the writing groups I attend is to take a repetitive but rhythmic task and make it into poetry…my list of repetitive tasks so far is less than inspiring:
hoovering the floor
mowing the lawn,
polishing the dining room table,
a tug of war
hemming a dress
ironing a sheet
Nothing so far takes my fancy. I hate times like this. Normally there is something tugging at a corner of my imagination, but this time there is nothing.
Now, I could just say, ‘bother it’, and move on. It is not as if the exercise is compulsory, but I believe that I must apply discipline to my writing. It would be very easy to be self indulgent and write only when the words are dripping from my fingertips but I know that if I am to take myself seriously, I have to work harder. I have to be able to make it happen.
I can hear the counsellor who attempted to help me combat the M.E. say that this driven attitude is exactly why I fell prey to the disease in the first place…and I still disagree with her.
Surely the striving is a big part of the end product, the reward is satisfaction of a job done as well as possible? If I allow myself to just push this aside because it does not instantly inspire me, then I am playing at being a writer, pretending to be a poet.
It is inevitable that some ideas will be more fertile than others, some pieces almost write themselves, but I know I have to develop enough craft to just get on and write!
I decided to write about having to plait my daughter’s hair on school mornings – repetitive and traumatic for both of us! See the poem (first draft I hastily add) at