Sunday, December 12, 2010

A couple of notes on writing.

1. Your plan is nonsense. That list you've made of what you're going to do today, during the 3 or 4 hours you've got to write? You will almost certainly not accomplish what is on that list. And if you do, it won't be an actual accomplishment, more like a gesture in the direction of the eventual accomplishment. You hope. Because that's how writing is.

2. You are going to flail. Just because the last time you took 3 or 4 hours to write, you were able to draft two whole new poems about of your piles of notes, it doesn't mean you're going to turn this particular pile of notes into a whole new draft. Probably, what you'll do is add more notes to the pile. More notes do not add up to a draft.

3. Writing does not necessarily make you feel good, at least not right now. If only you weren't in a coffee house, with people studying for their math exams on the left, their chemistry exams on your right, and talking on their cell phones straight ahead of you--if those people weren't there, and if Christmas music weren't playing overhead, and if all the above weren't be punctuated by steam and clinking ceramics, you could just break down and cry like you want to. Come on. You know you want to.

4. Sometimes the notes you added to the pile of notes yesterday turn into a draft today. Yippee!

5. So it turns out, that list actually does help. It just might take you a little longer to cross stuff off. A little longer, or a lot longer.

2 comments:

Emma J said...

This is exciting. This actual mountain climbing step-by-step (or sip-by-sip considering your setting?) But HOORAY for you!

gilian said...

I can't hardly wait for the getting to read part. I don't know how you live with this inside of you struggling so mightily to get out of you.

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