Funny thing about all this poetry; the more you get involved, the more you perform, the more you hear and the more you read the more you tend to write.
Nothing prompts a flurry of creative activity like having a looming deadline, a performance or a workshop to deliver.
I’ve usually got a few things on the go, anything from three to half a dozen; when a deadline looms at least a couple of those will get finished.
Once the writing starts then it multiplies, even when you’ve not got a pen, dictaphone or a computer to hand stuff is still happening in your mind – if I seem a bit distant sometimes that might be why. Finishing one or two of those “on-the-go” poems inevitably leads to more than that number of new ideas filling pages of the notebook – and it is almost always a notebook.
Some of the time I’ve also got other, non-poetic, writing on the go as well, at the moment and for the last year or so that means a couple of rather large stories that somehow keep rolling around in my mind and bit by bit start appearing on paper or on a memory chip. The current ones involve; bikes, a revolutionary tale, some elements of steampunk, some dark stuff, a fair few struggles and a bit of hope; all the things you tend to find in fairly lengthy stories.
One has the working title of “Circling the Darkness” which I liked so much I almost nicked it for a poem but it has far too much material in there to fit into a poem (unless it were one of those single-poem books). There’s a picture of the notebook where it started here:
They don’t have verses or stanzas but tend instead to have chapters and they don’t necessarily come in the right order. And they have characters who don’t necessarily end up the way they were first envisaged. they have plots which can go off unexpectedly to new area and they may at some time in the future have endings, just maybe. A bit like poems they might start off with a title but I expect that like poems the title, the one they end up with, will come along at the end of the process which in these cases might be a very long time away.
The business of writing would take much more time than there is available, even if you stopped doing everything else so I’ve come to the realisation that in the end it really does need to be treated as a business or a project. It needs to be allocated to certain times, it needs to have some kind of targets (for motivation – you might even call them deadlines – although that might be a title for a collection of poems….), it needs to be organised and to be considered successful it needs to have some kind of an end result.
So I’m looking at a project management approach to some of my writing. The project won’t always be something like “To produce a poem about xxxx”; it is often likely to be to work with the idea of xxxx and if there is a poem or a story in there then write it.