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Those of you who are in the Modpo crowd or who have been around since the beginning of this blog last November know that its purpose was to be a laboratory for creativity, particularly with writing and music composition.  This blog was an outgrowth of Modpo (Modern and Contemporary American Poetry course at Coursera.org).

I was trying to free myself from a longstanding writer’s block.  I was an inexperienced (and not very skilled) but prolific writer and poet a few years ago.  I hit a creative peak of sorts in the summer of 2009, when I wrote dozens of poems- some dreck, but some I was quite pleased with.  Most of these have not seen the light of day in almost four years.

Suddenly, the flow stopped.  On September 18, 2009 I awoke to an irregular heartbeat and felt very weak.  By the time I got to the hospital I was in 2:1 AV flutter that devolved into atrial fibrillation (brought on by stress and an aberrant electrical conduction pathway in my heart), and I found myself being wheeled upstairs for an emergency heart cath.  They destroyed the aberrant pathway, and the problem was fixed forever.

Only since then, I haven’t been able to write a word of my own.  Well, not at all until Modpo, and even then I’ve found it very difficult.    I have no idea why this experience would have affected my writing, but the fact remains I lost my voice that day, for whatever reason.  Modpo gave me a way in by using aleatoric and noncreative methods such as flarf or John Cage-style indeterminacy, but these writings were not like writing something that came from my heart.  That I simply couldn’t do.

One goal for this blog has been to help me find a way to regain that voice.

Now, I find myself in the last weeks of the Songwriting course at Coursera, and I am face to face with this block.  The final assignment, due next Wednesday, is to write a song (coming from inside me) using the instructor’s method.  No tricks like flarf or Cage.  I have to come up with my own lyrics and music, from my own ideas.  No Chapter 9.  No “I Am The Walrus” nonsense lyrics.

Oh (*&^&*.

I’ve already posted two demos from this class on this blog, but one came to me several years ago and needed just to be completed; the other was done with throwaway lyrics that I detested that were solely meant to comply with the requirements of the course.  I have yet to confront the block directly and write for this class…

Until now.  Oh (*&^&*.

Actually, the lectures this week I found extremely helpful, and helped me to find a way in.  It provided a method for finding ideas and rhymes, and provided a means for composing melody (I’ve been good with writing chord progressions and bass lines, but composing melody has always been a black box to me).  I feel like I have a shot to really do this this time.  I am feeling more confident.  I am enough of a writer that I bought a good thesaurus and rhyming dictionary today.

I feel like I might be able to break the block once and for all…

But I am still looking at an empty page in Open Office…

Oh (*&^&*.

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