Fits and Starts

It constantly bewilders me, this process of writing.  How is it that some weeks, nothing goes on except staring out of the window and other weeks, like this one, several poems morph out of all recognition into something very like their finished bodies?

I know, I know…it’s like I said in that earlier post….staring out of the window IS writing.  It’s my “invisible practice” etc. etc. etc.  But that still doesn’t explain the sudden fit of speed, the manic thousand beginnings of a draft, the hand-over-hand climbing feeling I get as the words race across the screen, changing as they go…

Perhaps it’s linked to confidence.  I’ve just had a couple of really nice things happen to me recently; the offer of some poetry-related work, some encouraging comments about a difficult-to-write poem.  I definitely feel boosted.  Turbo-boosted!  Only one poem to rewrite, now – and then I really will be at the tinkering and ordering stage with the manuscript.

Oh God, and then there’s all the trawling round publishers to do, the vainly-trying-to-interest-the-hard-pressed-editors stuff (blood runs a little colder).  Let’s not think about that.  It lives in another room.  I’ll stay for the moment with my teenage self in one of the poems I’ve just finished:

…swallowed by rain and the head-height weeds and the gap

full of shadow lain quiet inside for years.

Here’s wishing you a bit of quiet this weekend, too, should you need it.


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