09 January 2006

Like a fern in a freezer

It's 1:30 pm and I can cross "finish draft of syllabus #3" off my to-do list.

This leaves "write a poem for Tuesday night poetry group meeting" at the top of my list.

So here is the conundrum: I am in my office, and will need to stay here for the rest of the day. Thus, it looks like I will need to (gasp!) write a poem in my office, instead of up in my studio sans distractions (except for four cats) and in super comfy clothes.

I wonder if I can do it.

The new poem I'm fondest of right now, "The Flyers," was composed at the Hampton Inn in Bowling Green, Ohio. But otherwise I just don't take it on the road. I revise on the road, in my office, etc, but that's about it.

I will either end up with an interesting experiment or no poem at all. In the meantime, I will thrill myself by reading selections from my English 452: Modern American Poetry coursepack. Perhaps I will get a nap out of this as well.

If only I had this bad boy in my office...

Any other poets/writers HAVE TO be in one particular place when writing, or am I just a delicate organism?

11 comments:

Strong Enough said...

Hey, I have partied at Bowling Green!

Love ya girl! Get to working!

Frank said...

I think being a delicate organism regards writing routines is part and parcel of being a writer.

When I was an undergrad, I used to think I could write anywhere because I had to do all of my writing in University computer labs, which tended to be noisy with furious typing and online gamers shouting and so on. Turns out though, I needed that kind of noise and distraction after a while and I couldn't get anything done elsewhere.

My point is this: it's all superstitions and routines. Watch a baseball player at the plate. Often the do the same EXACT thing before every pitch as a way to get their mojo working. It's the same with writing. We get used to chairs, keyboards, lighting, cat accompaniment. And the more used to it we get, the more we NEED it.

Penultimatina said...

Aha! I just wrote a poem in my office, and actually revised it too.

I guess I am a hardy microbe now.

Byf said...

All I can say is that if I were allowed an office, there's no telling what I'd do in it.

Count your blessings.

Gerald Huml said...

I prefer to write in a coffee house or in a very quiet place like the library. There are too many distractions at home.

Julie said...

I prefer writing in my house, but I have a process. I have to sit on the couch or at a table for a while (not at my desk), and I'll struggle until something comes. Then, I'll feel a breaking point where I absolutely have to get to my computer and lay the poem out, so I know how it looks on the page. It might have something to do with the fact that my handwriting is terrible, especially when I'm doing "real" writing.

P. J. said...

Usually I go out (park bench, coffee shop, grassy knoll) and scribble on a pad for a while, random reallly bad lines, until something in me breaks down and says, "okay, here's something decent if you'll just stop writing stuff and go home."

Then I go home and lay out a rhyme scheme and make up a working title for focus. After that, I just see what happens, scoff at myself, and nearly give up until my Hoity-Toity Gland kicks in and I act all "I'm so great" despite any evidence to the contrary (like having a loaded gun in your hand and saying "I din't do it") until the poem is done.

David said...

give me a laptop, a window and hardwood floors, and I'm ready to roll.

Things that kill my writing buzz:
-linoleum
-fluorescents
-country music
-hearing the phrase, "would you like
fries with that?"
-decaf coffee
-a dirty house
-listening to John Kerry speak

Gerald Huml said...

Thanks for the link to the article about ordering manuscripts! I'm also glad that there are some other dark content kindred spirits out there.

poetzie said...

I used to have a process which involved hand-writing in a journal of some sort and transcribing it later onto the computer, introducing a natural step of revision between the two. Now that Eliot has entered the world, I take any time to write that I can get. I know my newer poetry reflects this as well. . .but you take what you can get when life gets that much more complicated.

Good for you, breaking through that mental roadblock!

Stephanie King said...

I only have one real requirement for writing:

Darkness.

I have a lot of trouble trying to write during the day. I have to write at night with no overhead lights on.