Tuesday, January 12

Keeping the Shitbird at Bay

I've passed the last six months working too much and too hard. I would like to say that in the meantime, I've forgotten who I am, except that I have always worked too much and too hard. In truth, I've forgotten not who I am, but who I'd like to be. The self-defeating part of me, which my writing teacher calls "the shitbird," would like me to keep busy, keep forgetting, keep going through life as though life were something to get through. Meanwhile, over the past several weeks, even while I was working, I watched myself and my usual ways of writing and not writing, and I discovered my rules for being a poet. Though they are obvious, I do forget them. I'll be posting them over my desk.
  1. Keep your desk clean.
  2. Write every day.
  3. Keep a journal.
  4. Read poetry.
  5. Read about poetry.
  6. Write a shitty draft and trust the process that follows.
  7. Create a persona.
  8. Be aware of the emotional core of the poem.
  9. Remember that no-one wants to hear you complain.

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