I’m never sure what to do when my writing gets emotionally tough. Sit at the computer and work through it, or step away from the page and come back later when I’m more objective?
To leave always seems like I’m giving up, that I’m exiting the place where I might be fully engaged in the poem. But what if the poem is so emotionally painful that to leave gives me emotional space?
It’s a hard call every time. First, to go to that place where I know the work will hurt and stay there long enough so that the feelings are raw and real. Then I step back. I say, That’s enough for now. Let’s come back later.
For a while I thought I wouldn’t go back. I kept telling myself, This is too hard. I don’t have to stay here.
But I kept going back. I knew the work was important, that I needed to keep trying to find words for feelings I was trying to understand.
That’s why I keep going back: to find a language for something I’ve never been able to express.