This blog has become something I intend to write and never actually got round to typing words on to the screen; I have tried all sorts of things to cure my procrastination, herbal teas, creams which had some rather unfortunate consequences (read amazon reviews on hair loss remover to find out more) and a large stint in a convent in the north west of Ireland. In the end I came to the conclusion that I was one of the three, busy, tired, lazy or all the above at the same time. My new tactic to combat procrastination, laziness, and tiredness which could be seen as a 2014 Beveridge Report for me, is to not care anymore and also cut down on TV.
This was the first week of the second semester at Birmingham, with the first week in both lectures focusing on a introduction to two modules which are shaping up to be interesting in different ways. Research skills Two, (one of the most uninspiring names of modules that I have seen) the question that is being asked throughout this module is ‘What Writer are You?’ and how this can been seen in your process, and your output as a writer. I have always been interested in writing processes, from how they write, when, with which Beveridge and where they produce the best texts of the current generation. Recently the guardian did a poll of polls, to find out if there was a blueprint for being a writer; something that is impossible and undesirable. They found that writers get up early, drink copious amounts of coffee and generally have an alcohol problem. fulfilling the stereotype of all writers across the western world. I think I would add to that, the compulsion to write. All writers, from various interviews that I have read or listened to have a need to write, and wouldn’t know what else to do with their time. Writing is largely solitary, frustrating and emotionally draining, not three things that sound like a fun three hours typing out 1000 words each morning. This is why, similarly to a pro-marathon runners 5am start, why writers write, through compulsion and a lack of imagination to do things in reality rather than on the page (definitely true in my case). One thing that I would highlight however with regards to compulsion, is to differentiate Writers with writing for therapy. Therapy writing, works as therapy, its a proven and highly effective treatment for a range of mental illnesses and can help lots of people around the world. However it usually isn’t good writing. Good Writing comes from editing and process not from writing down all of your deepest and darkest emotions on the paper at the same time. your deepest demons can often enhance your writing, and be part of the process, even the most important aspect to your work but it can never be it all, otherwise it fails as good writing. Sylvia Plath, often seen as a writer exorcising demons in her writing, goes beyond therapy in her writing. He poems are full of interesting imagery, and a directness and sparseness that could have been achieved through editing and process. Emotions are part of the writing process they can never consume it.
My other module for this year, is entitled Story as Poem, Poem as Story, and focuses on narrative in poetry and the grey areas which exist between the two genres, through Prose Poetry. This module focused on three writers who each full fill narratives in their prose poetry in different ways. Each offer us a different unique writing exercise which I found incredibly useful to start work. All three poets were contemporary, alive today publishing post 2000 which I find ever more important in my writing is to read others around me. Over this module, my aim is to write a lot, a full collection i need be in preperation for my dissertation. Something that crosses narrative and poetry, that can be read in train station if needed. Others argue that you should not read poets around you, which is a pretty certain way of writing poetry that will be shit, devoid of contemporary culture and something that will only ever exist in the writers ‘My Documents’.
This semester especially I feel more comfortable in talking about my writing, and sending my writing to others, using this blog as a reflective tool, I am going to post items about the books I’m reading, my writing process, and how the module is going.