Soggy Poems & Dead Ends

I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate,
a poet, a pawn, and a king.” — Frank Sinatra

Like Frank, I have been many things. I’ve called myself a writer, journalist, author, poet, blogger. I am all of those things and, lately, seemingly none of them.
I’m not writing. I haven’t had any great ideas. When some bit of inspiration does trickle in, it lands with a thud at my feet and doesn’t even bounce.
Last week in the woods, a poem showed up. It was so insistent, I sat down on the trail and wrote words in my notebook, but by the time I got home, they were stale and soggy.
Is this writer’s block? A pandemic pause? A crisis of faith?
In my darkest moments, I worry I’m a hack, that readers have been humoring me all this time. That my lack of pedigree makes me and my work irrelevant. That I have overstayed my welcome and should just shut up and find something else to do — like paint my nails or make bundt cakes for the neighbors.
Oh, I know most of that isn’t true. In the light of day, anyhow. But at night, when I toss and turn and wonder about what comes next? I get nothing but pieces of soggy poems and dead ends.
That’s life?
I’ve been up and down and over and out and I know one thing
Each time I find myself layin’ flat on my face
I just pick myself up and get back in the race

This too shall pass.
(I hope.)

So tell me, have you been here before? Experienced writer’s block or a creative pause? What did you do?

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