Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Smoke, Stanzas & the Approaching New Year

07:34:00 Posted by Lara Clayton , , , , , , 5 comments

This week's theme is Resolutions. I don't usually make resolutions, but this year I'm thinking I might...

For me, 2012 will represent 10 years of being a smoker and I'm starting to think that it is time to quit, but I'm a little worried. I'm worried that a lack of nicotine will affect my writing, that by doing away with bad habit I will also do away with poetry...  When I write, I also smoke (a lot). When I struggle to find the next line, I roll another roll-up. When I can't think of the right word, I roll another roll-up. When I reach the end of a stanza, I roll another roll-up...  As the paper and tobacco begin to burn, as my lungs gradually fill with smoke, my mind starts to wander in a manner that is freer and less pressured. And, usually, I discover that missing line, that elusive word, that next stanza.

(I've reached a point in this post where I don't know what to write next so, in typical bad habit style, I have rolled a roll-up.)

Therefore, I'd like to quit smoking without quitting poetry - whether this will happen remains to be seen!

Thank you for reading and wishing you all a happy New Year,


Ashley R Lister said...

Coincidentally, I also worried that quitting smoking would stop me from being able to write.

And it turned out it did.

After quitting smoking I haven't written a thing.

Except for a dozen short stories. And that academic article on haiku. And essays for the final year of my PGCE. And the poems for each of the events we've been to. And classroom materials for creative writing lessons. And the blog here each week. And a couple of novels.

But, aside from those bits, I haven't been able to write much else since quitting smoking :-)

Good luck with becoming a quitter.


Lara Clayton said...

Thank you for the reassurance. As always, your words are filled with wisdom :)

Lindsay said...

Ash's right, smoking and creativity aren't connected. When you are reaching for a cigarette it's not the nicotine or routine making you ceative, you're giving your mind a moment to brew something new. As an ex smoker myself I know how difficult it can be, but it's really worth it (especially with the price of the damn things these days) so sending you good vibes to help :) stopping smoking didn't effect my level of drawing, it got in the way to be frank, so it may even be a good thing. Happy new year Lara xx

vicky ellis said...

Have you ever considered biting your nails? You could become a green tea addict. Maybe become THAT person who eats the end of all the biros. I agree with the others. Your creativity does not live in your habits. It might not be easy breaking the habits but there are plenty of habits to choose from and they all help writers procrastinate. Try clicking your teeth together. Doodling. Pulling the threads out of an old cardigan. That last one is pretty rebellious if you ask me. I might take it up myself :)

Good luck xxx

Lara Clayton said...

Yes, I do feel like I will need a new bad habit. I non-smoking, non-drinking vegan is far too good...
Teeth clicking, well, I already grind my teeth so that might count - although that is something I'd like to stop. But I really like the idea of pulling the threads out of an old cardigan :)