It was once said, by some famous writer I can’t remember, or possibly misquoted anyway, that the moment you find writing easy, is the moment you know you’re doing something wrong. By that, I’m not sure they meant the current state I’m in with spoken word.
My relationship with the different forms of writing change. My ability at each of them is constantly in flux, like many things, so it often helps to blog about it. Right now, spoken word is hard. Poetry, the stuff for the page, the short, concise pieces tightened so much that people cough and miss them at open mic readings, they’ve become more successful, not so much that I think it’s so easy because then I would be making the first mistake. I even sent a few off the journals, but perhaps that’s a trade off because I’m constantly second guessing my spoken word, becoming too self-critical. Looking back at a whole bunch of pieces I performed a lot and feeling like never reading them again.
Perhaps I’m making one mistake and looking at my style, comparing it to others and thinking I’m ‘doing it wrong’ which could be a never-ending cycle. Who does spoken word ‘right’ anyway? We’re all so different. You can’t compare Santo Cazzati to anyone and then there’s the ‘slam poets’ and the page poets, the conversational type story tellers and people who do a bit of everything.
I think I have a style and perhaps I’ve been wondering if it works. A lot of it is influenced by radical oratory, the use of metaphor by revolutionary writers during the earlier 20th century. Perhaps I’m wondering if the style is successful or not. I don’t think my slam scores are a particularly useful judge, nor even the amount of features I get because that is in flux too. Feedback and whether or not what I’m doing is working, becoming repetitive, was boring to begin with, strange and totally off base. All of that is hard to gauge.
Perhaps all I can do is keep writing, trying to work out what people like, forget the things that don’t work and keep hold of the pieces that strike a cord. Maybe even I’ll win a slam one day…