On writing

  Imagine you keep  getting these great ideas, or the feeling that a great idea is coming. You simply have to write it down, but can’t. Life is getting in the way: work; overblown cultural events; yeast infections.


Simple and prolific as virus. You writers make me want to write to teach you a lesson.







After some time the urges are so persistant and regular,they begin to overspill into your outward mood. I need time, you say. This idea must be shared. Then you get some time, and write it down and it doesn’t work. What was stunning on the horizon turns out to be terminal up close. It aborts on the page. The words themselves seem to fall apart and display their workings like a baked trout – his white cooked eye.

This is how it is. Keep writing. Yes, sometimes a thought needs to be written, but others, just working your fingers on the keyboard, or swirling and tattling Bic ink brings about writing.

If you don’t write, you’re not a writer. If you do write, you are a writer.

Did you once have an idea that there was something you had to say? A soon as you realise it has already been said and better, and you accept this but still sit down to write then you are ready to begin and better than I am.

French poet Arthur Rimbaud summarized the “poet” by writing,

A poet makes himself a visionary through a long, boundless, and systematized disorganization of all the senses. All forms of love, of suffering, of madness; he searches himself, he exhausts within himself all poisons, and preserves their quintessences. Unspeakable torment, where he will need the greatest faith, a superhuman strength, where he becomes all men: the great invalid, the great criminal, the great accursed—and the Supreme Scientist! For he attains the unknown! Because he has cultivated his soul, already rich, more than anyone! He attains the unknown, and, if demented, he finally loses the understanding of his visions, he will at least have seen them! So what if he is destroyed in his ecstatic flight through things unheard of, unnameable: other horrible workers will come; they will begin at the horizons where the first one has fallen!


See what I mean?


About grahamcliffordpoet

Graham is an award winning poet, based in London. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with an MA in Creative Writing, and has since published nationally and internationally, winning many awards and performing at some of the most prestigious and well known Literary Festivals. His debut collection, The Hitting Game, is published by Seren.
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