I am currently – among other things – working on editing my fifth poetry volume. It will largely consist of my absolutely insane mega-poem “Pastiche”, a 20000-long act of utter lunacy.
As I am going over its meandering bouts of madness, I come across parts written in English, French, Latin, Greek, German, etc. – some of which I honestly do not remember anymore, or understand! I finished that poem 18 years ago. Would I be able to do something like this again, now? I am doubtful.
It’s not that I have not been busy or inventive since then – I am currently working on my fifth symphony, and also on a scholarly article and a scholarly book, plus on finishing “The Garden”, part of my second Tetralogy – garden here, of course, not meaning yardwork but a theological/philosophical/poetic meditation on paradise, heaven, hell, and heaven and hell on earth. Some light stuff.
But honestly, regarding some older work, I am looking at a wholly different me as the writer, and I do wonder whether I have the same energy and drive and enthusiasm now as I did back then.
Maybe the lesson here is: don’t doubt yourself, but do make sure that you do things done when you can get them done, because it won’t get any easier when you wait for years and years. Youth is where the energy is (and the accompanying audaciousness), and while older age supposedly carries wisdom, it can stand in its own way and be less creative – or simply just tired.
Just get it done now. Carpe diem – or, as one Buffy episode once joked, “fish of the day.”