No, I can’t quite believe I’m doing this either.
I’m telling you guys, my wonderful visitors, to try creativity as a way of managing stress, mental UNhealth and Mental Illness when you find yourself with spiralling emotions. You know the moments I mean, when your head is overwhelmed by the sadness / pain / anger / anxiety / stresses / everything else you are trying to juggle. You need to be distracted. I’ve been trying to tell you that Creative Coping Strategies (CCS), might be just the ticket.
But I realised last night, at around 2.30, whilst eating a delicious brownie and trying desperately not to cry, that although I’ve been using creativity for a long time on here, although I’ve been saying ‘Look! I’m writing and drawing and it helps me, why don’t you try it?’ for a long while, although I’ve even given alternative ideas that anyone can try for an EVEN LONGER time…I’ve not been brave and tried alternative things myself.
That’s pretty hypocrital, isn’t it?
I decided at 2.45am that I need to try and change that.
But I’m not just going to try new things, I’m going to go so far out of my comfort zone that it’s going to make my boobs itch.
I’m going to bring you poetry.
Not just any old poetry…Crap Poetry.
What the fuck am I doing?
What I do know (and the reason I’ve chosen to do this) is that poetry certainly doesn’t come naturally to me, but on the 2 occasions in recent memory that I’ve tried it, I was COMPLETELY consumed.
That’s exactly what I’m suggesting you look out for. Distractions that are fun and consuming are the key to the success of CCS, and they may not be the usual suspects. So I have no choice, I have to bite the bullet, put my money where my mouth is and put my big-girl pants on.
I have to try it myself.
I’m going to regularly bring you a poem, always a crap one, and tell you about a few key things when I post;
- The creative process I went through
- The random places I found the inspiration for the poem
- If it actually helped me
I hope that writing crap poems will help anyone who visits to believe in the power of having your own creative coping strategy ready when you need it. I hope it’ll prove that it doesn’t matter how good you are at something, the only aim is that you ENJOY doing it.
Remember, most importantly, no one has to see or hear your creative projects. They are YOURS and yours alone. If you choose to share them with the world (please tag me as I’d love to share them too) then I admire your bravery, but it’s not necessary and to be honest, I don’t really recommend it, at least not to start with.
In the beginning it’s about finding your feet, exploring the myriad of choices that exist under the umbrella of ‘creativity’ and working out what tickles your pickle.
Whatever you choose to distract yourself with, whether it’s taking photographs, listening to podcasts, dancing to a Grease song, or writing a memoir, the results can, quite happily, remain completely private.
I’m only making a choice to be public with ‘Crap Poems’ because I have a point to prove. There’s no question it’ll make me nervous and worried about being a bit more vulnerable with my writing, but it’s for the greater good and I hope my critics will bear that in mind when they read them. I don’t want you to feel that way about creativity, and that’s why (to start with at least) it’s better to enjoy it privately.
Of course, comments and feedback are, and always will be, welcomed.
I hope you enjoy this series and it provokes you to try something creatively new with the end goal of having your own CCS in mind.
I’m starting the ‘Crap Poems’ series with my first piece written last night. It was simply about the morning I had, which was incredible and inspiring, but after a Zoom meeting that lasted just over an hour I was spent and on an emotional comedown for hours.
‘Compute’ is a poem about the severe reaction I have to something as simple as preparing for a virtual meeting because of my severe social anxiety.
My inspiration, process and resulting emotions are below the poem if you want to read them.
Enjoy, but remember, I know it’s crap.
Am i breathing?
In and out
Where are my notes?
There aren’t enough
What’s her name?
My mind is blank
I’ve read her book
Ah, that’s it, ok.
How long do I wait
To open up Zoom
and it’s requests to test my system
that I don’t understand
I’ll open zoom
5 minutes early
and it closes again
claiming it’s not working
What do I do?
Worry, worry, worry
Reboot, reboot, reboot
Wait, wait, wait
Late, late, late
Well, that’s it I guess
She’ll think I don’t care
First impressions count
for nothing today
Staring through windows
waiting for windows
and it wakes up
just as I drift off.
Jump, wake up, react!
Clock says 11.59
I have one minute
to make this count
and not pass out
with fear of failing
a constant theme
but not in this meeting
I’ll just have to dream
It starts at midday
She’ll never know
I nearly walked away
What a bloody morning that was.
I had a meeting with an incredible author, a well-known and well-respected person who specifically works in a field I am trying to learn more about. I was FUCKING nervous, to the point that I asked my partner to sit with me for 5 minutes because, even before the meeting, I wanted to cry.
The poem wasn’t easy to write technically, but I still new what I wanted to get across and that makes the process easier for me. I wrote down a few key phrases that I thought would add fun (sort of) such as ‘boom zoom’ and ‘looking through windows, waiting for windows’.
Then I threw it together, mashing the phrases around until it was coherent and timeline correct. I used a little peppering of rhyming for fun but for those poetry critics out there that realise how amateur I am, I still remembered to think about syntax, grammar, line length, line ending and pentameter…in a few places it may even show!
More than anything I wanted to get across a feeling of fear, being rushed and anxious waiting – all amongst the things running my brain before any virtual meeting, and I have a lot of them.
Finishing the poem and reading it back it actually made me smile. If nothing else it’s a good way of remembering a moment in time that was significant for me. It felt important, and I’m happy to have a way of looking back on it at grabbing the moments that might usually be forgotten.
And yes, at some point you’ll hear much more about the meeting. This was the first of a few and neither one of us is in a position to talk publicly about our conversations.
Overall I loved taking the time to write this Crap Poem. As I mentioned earlier, it gave me the same consuming feeling I needed, it distracted me from life and got my creative juices flowing for a bit.
I’m now back in reality and Coco Pops are calling me.
More crap poetry is coming soon. Thanks for reading!