Creative Writing and Homelessness
For those so inclined, it can be very important to keep a personal journal or write poetry while homeless. Well, it can constitute a poetic journal. Doing this can help to preserve the sense of serf independent from one’s homeless status. It can also provide a means for paining deeper insight into one’s situation. I always worked on mine either at a coffee shop near the shelter or at the nearest library. Usually, the homeless can get a library card and use the computer, saving to a disk (in the old days) or flash drive or blog or one’s own email.
It is important not to abuse the privilege of using the library—like hogging the free access, surfing porn sites, wasting time playing computer games. I would focus on communicating with family, creative writing, and looking for jobs or housing. However, I admit that I also used Yahoo Personals. In fact, that’s how I met my wife. You can make yourself a pain by ogling women. I remember one guy who became known as the “stack creep.” He would hide under a stair well and look up girls’ dresses and such as they proceeded up and down stairs leading up and down the stacks. Just use common sense and be respectful in a library. And follow the rules.
Creative writing can be shared with others, or not. I find it is more helpful if I do share it with others in some way. I submitted poetry to journals during homelessness and received acceptances. I even put out an issue or two of my own journal, Point Judith Light, while homeless, with the help of my non-homeless co-editor (for a time).
It is important not to engage in bitching sessions with doing this writing. It is primarily designed for self-exploration, not taking the inventory of others.
Don’t be embarrassed when people ask you suspiciously or derisively, “What are you doing, writing the Great American novel? Just say keeping a journal or writing people, and leave I at that.
Music can also be a great outlet. If you should happen to still own your guitar, you can play or even nake4 up a number of new songs. I wrote a number related to hopelessness that I would sometimes share on the guitar.
It’s not really such a big deal, being a writer, though society tends to think so. It is work and play at the same time, but need not separate you from the human race. It’s just an ability or genetic disposition that may have come to the fore in the midst oi crisis. Keep on writing, keep on playing, Don’t allow the creative spirit to die.