The Creative Process: An Extract

“What should I write about?” I turn to my friend. She shrugs.

“I don’t know.”

Minutes tick by, slowly, as the screen stares idly back it me, its bright whiteness flickering, visible pixels on the old school chromebooks. My hands rest on the keys, ready to write down the brilliance of my ideas – but they are as insubstantial as clouds on a summer’s day. The image of clouds make me think of Daffodils. I smile – Wordsworth. I google the first line just to make sure I’ve got the poet right. Distractions, distractions – and yet ideas are not forthcoming. A stifled sigh, that melds into a yawn as the last month’s lack of sleep makes itself known to me. A swig of crappy vending machine tea with an aftertaste of coffee and then it’s back to staring at the screen again. Words and phrases jumble round in my mind but none of them materializing into anything substantial. Another yawn, more tea. The lipstick mark reminds me of another poem I wrote, but the words are old, and nothing new becomes of it.

For we are old souls

Now what can I make of that?

For we are old souls,
Old lives lived over again, new times,
New destinations and desires;
Or so we think, but, really,
It’s all the same.

Well isn’t that depressing. And I’m not sure it makes sense either, but we’re keeping it for now. More tea required – but if I drink it too quickly I’ll run out, and that would be a travesty, truly (I’m so bloody British).

For we are old souls, old
As the world is old, Time’s
Wrinkles creasing in our veins with a sigh,
An edge of tiredness ever constant in our minds,
Unaided by sleep. For we are old,
As the universe is old, as
Life is old. Old souls
Thinking they can live young lives,
Thinking that their world is kind,
Forgetting a pain’s past, and
The pain to come.
For we are old souls, and yet
We try again.

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