Wednesday night I wrote a poem, and it felt good to do that. Actually picking the germ of something out of my notebook, writing on it, refining it, and coming out of it with an actual thing… As opposed to writing on a feeling, ending up with a nothing scene that will languish in that notebook until the end of time. Sure, all writing is important. All writing gets you somewhere. All writing has the potential to turn into something good. But some days it’s frustrating to not be able to pull anything “tangible” out if the ether, especially when you have a deadline looming and you know you need some quality shit by then. “Why do I even bother” starts to float around your brain.
And still, writing more days than not is something I have to remind myself to do. But the writing part is the most important part, because sure, maybe what you’re writing might turn out to be nothing, but it will certainly be nothing if you never sit down and put pen to paper. Every piece, every experiment, every linguistic doodle helps you improve. Pure writing remains the thing I need to focus on.
There are three parts to the “writer’s day” that I’m working towards. The first is the writing. Pure, sit-your-butt-down, writing. The second is reading, fiction and non-fiction, because a good writer is well-read. The third is what I’ve vaguely described in my planner as “work”. That doesn’t mean the rest of it isn’t work, of course. But “work” is all the other stuff that goes along with it.
It means going into my notebooks and transferring the good bits over to my writing filofax (because if I didn’t, it would languish in those notebooks forever). It means putting tabs on the interesting drafts I’d forgotten about, so I can go back later and work those into something good. It means sitting down and looking up literary magazines and when they are opening their reading periods to accept work. It means, believe it or not, writing these blog posts. Not all of that gets done every day, of course. The ideal writing day would include one element of “work” along with reading and writing.
And the other night, I wrote a poem.
This is good, because I need more bits and pieces for the portfolio I need to submit in order to hopefully get into a poetry class I have my eye on. But because of that, I can’t share it here. That chafes! I’d love to share it here. It’s great when you’ve written something, and you’re excited about it, to be able to slap it onto a website and say “here is my stuff, I’d love for you to read it”. With this, I can’t. But…
I found a work-around. I emailed it to my patreon supporters. Patreon gives me the option to share something I’m excited about without posting it publicly. I love having this option. It’s also a little something extra for my supporters, which is good because I have trouble, as a writer, thinking of good rewards while at the same time keeping most of my stuff freely available. Both of these things are important to me, and I hope I’m moving towards a good balance.