Monday, April 2, 2012

Wriitng places and times

 Just posted to in response to request for responses to

finding the right writing time/place -a blog worth reading if you write 

My response

I had a routine/place very much like yours, Pat, when writing for my doctorate and for papers and books as an academic. That was a while ago and I remember the glow of knowing I had logged several hundred words -even if they had to be revised or removed the next day. I also found long train journeys good, setting a word target (by the time I get to ... , I'll have xxxx) often moved forwards something that felt a bit stuck. Then I took very late gap year from academia (now a decade long and rather permanent, I think) and in between some consultancy I started writing poetry.

Two thoughts on this. There's a great deal of fuzziness in the border bewteen scholalry and so-called creative writing -the topic of a workshop I do for mostly new academic writers.  I need pen and paper much more for the poetry -often, most often, they are essential if something other that just description is to emerge and are key to seeing what I am looking at, at the slant that poetry demands.

So my poetry wriitng places are diverse. A place worth some attentiveness & the small notebook & pencil that are always in my pocket, then the early morning, preferably in the sun, with bigger notebook, pen, where I write to join the seen with what that has bought to mind (its always a wonderful surprise to read the words that arrive on the page at this stage). Finally, as now, on my laptop. on my lap, feet outstretched on the sofa, I move words to screen and begin the very long process of forming the poem. No surprise, that this takes time. Like a good loaf of bread, poetry works best if the ingredients are fresh, your heart is in your hands as you knead it into shape and long. slow proving is improving.

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