therapeutic writing

Today I woke up with a lot on my mind and wrote a really long blog.  I read a bit of it to my wife and she said “that’s the whiniest thing I’ve ever heard.”

So I wrote some more, and did not share it.

I guess that’s what is known as therapeutic writing. Something I need to do more often.

It just so happens I came across this video tonight. I didn’t search it out, but If I had not done that writing this morning, I doubt I would have watched it.

I guess that’s what’s known as reticular activation.  Another thing I need to do more often.

There is something about paper

There’s something about paper.

I’m not sure what it is, despite the fact that I’ve been thinking about this for many years.

Paper does things that computer monitors do not do.

Working on a little writing project, I got stuck.

To be precise, I was stuck on page 62.

There are many reasons for this stuckage.

The longer it gets, the harder it is to hold everything in my head at once. Where I’ve been. Where I am. And where I want to go.

I’m not much of a sprinter. But neither am I a long distance guy. I guess, as a writer, I’m more of a mid to short distance walker.

Thanks to a few recent developments in our family business, I have a little room to breathe in my life. Not a lot, but some. So I wanted to take the whole day off work and spend yesterday afternoon working on my writing project.

Instead of sitting at the computer, I printed a hard copy and I used the outdoor furniture at a nearby coffee shop.

It was a beautiful day. What a breath of fresh air.

I made a ton of edits in the first 62 pages — and all the scribble made me feel like I had gotten a serious amount of work done.

I also wrote a little, and scribbled lots of notes.

It’s the scribble itself that works so well.

The same amount of work on a word processor might not have felt like much. The computer doesn’t show the corrections. With the scribble (dark black ink all over the paper), it looks like I got A LOT DONE!

Now I’ve made lots of changes and am well into page 67.

Paper. I guess sticks and dirt were the original word processor — but paper is a pretty good one. There’s something about it.

Poets can be brutal

Talking politics, these days, can be mean business.

There’s a lot of fear.  A lot of ignorance.  A lot of shouting.

Generally, the ones who shout loudest are the least informed.

News flash:  Poetry is more brutal.

I’m a member of a poetry website (unnamed, for fear of retribution).  Occasionally I post poems there (under a pen name, for fear of retribution).

Members of the site critique and rate each others poems.  That’s why I do it.  I want feedback and help with revision — and many members are quite helpful and generous.

But talk about mean!

Why is it such a crime to write a bad poem?  Or — write a good poem that somebody doesn’t like?

I post my poems and rate others, sometimes critique — but I pretty much keep my distance and refrain from engaging in conversation.

On a regular basis, you can find poets over there with egos the size of Jupiter who are ready to start WWIII.  The community is ripe with ongoing conflicts, pent-up hate, and vendettas.

I’ve seen comments that were less than ten words — benign, earnest comments about meter, or punctuation, or even heartfelt, caring thoughts — that were answered with a barrage of four letter words. Unrepeatable insults.

I’ve never engaged enough to become the object of anyone’s hate.

But, I did take a hit yesterday that hurt.  One of my poems had a pretty high rating — and I had been basking in the glow for days (they are rated on a scale of one to ten).  This poem was at the top of the charts for a couple of weeks, getting almost all tens, with a five, an eight, and a smattering of nines.

Then somebody (who knows who) gave it a one.  It quickly got another one and, thanks to averaging, is now off the radar.

Kinda mean, huh?

I was bummed, but dare not say so there.  It’s unseemly to talk about ones own poem.  It’s scary.