So on Sunday I was determined to spend a bit of time on writing stuff. Rather than writing new stuff, I decided to type up the poems that I’d written since the last lot I typed up, some months ago.
I’ve realised in the last year or so that typing up poems from the scribbley things I scrawl in my notebook is a really important part of my whole writing process – it’s when a poem becomes real, and I edit it as I go – rewriting bits, cutting bits, rearranging bits. And once they’re typed, they’re so much easier to keep tinkering with until they’re finished or abandoned. It’s also a bit of a selection process – there are some poems I don’t even bother to type up, because they’re just a bit of a brain dump with short lines, or some other thing that has served whatever purpose it was ever going to serve, and I really don’t need to waste my time on doing anything with it because it simply doesn’t deserve it.
So anyway, on Sunday, when I was done, I found I’d typed up 12 poems – and one of them was actually kind of four little poems in a sequence (to which I plan to add more). I was so proud of myself. Turns out I’d written more that I thought. Pretty much all of them needed some work – some quite a lot – but there were some cool lines in there. And some lines that surprised me – things I can’t even remember writing. My favourite was the lines:
She is a pair of handcuffs
she is a tenuous grip
So after that, I had to write a skitey writing report. Earlier in the year a friend of mine and I were writing weekly reports to each other on our writing. Just shortish things where we say how much writing we’re doing, what we’re working on and so forth. I also say how much I’ve typed up, how many blog posts I’ve written and if I’ve sent out any submissions (which I almost invariably haven’t). I found it a really useful motivation, and record that I am actually doing something. After a several months of rather irregular reporting, I’m going to try and get back to it every week – and hopefully done some writing every week to report on.