Still writing every day?

February photoI was wondering how your writing is going?  I started off the year by resolving to write for at least one hour a day with all distractions (mostly social media feeds) switched off.  It was much more straightforward when I was on leave from my paid, part-time (ha!) job but it has become more difficult now that I’m back at work.  That said, I have been writing every day, and probably for one hour although I haven’t really been clock-watching, I’ve tended to work around my other responsibilities.  It doesn’t feel as if I’m writing as much.

I’ve sent six poems to three different magazines (for the first time ever I’ve sent one notebooks 2015poem to two places – although guidelines published at both stipulate simultaneous submissions are OK, provided I notify them if a poem becomes ineligible, ie, is accepted elsewhere).  At the start of the year I made a big list of all of my unfinished poems and I’m trying to work my way through them.  Some are very old indeed and started life as short stories, the oldest ‘poems’ are five years old.  I trawled through past notebooks looking for fragments of writing or pieces that just seemed to have trailed off.  Then there are poems which start well but fizzle out altogether.  I’ve put some of my notebooks and loose sheets of paper into a jute bag to keep tidy.  It’s a sort of mobile office/filing system.  I rummage through to select a piece to work on.  It’s actually really enjoyable but a slow process.

Maybe you’ve been more productive?  I’m all ears!

19 thoughts on “Still writing every day?

  1. Liz Light says:

    I have entered four poems for a competition…….first time I have done this. Also go to weekly poetry group…….all of this, plus your posts have urged me on. BUT have to confess that I am constantly diverted by other things…singing, grandchildren, garden, and solitaire!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lesleyjjackson says:

    My writing has almost disappeared this last year but I resolved to do a sketch a day and that seems to be working. I am reading Anne Lamott’s ‘Bird by Bird’ at he moment. She says that she keeps a tiny picture frame on her desk to remind herself that all she has to write each day is enough to fill that frame – any more is a bonus. Perhaps that would work for you on difficult days. I am especially intrigued by your mention of poems that started out as short stories. Many of my short stories had poems written simultaneously on the same subject and others some became poems later. I didn’t realise other writers did this too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josephine Corcoran says:

      Lesley there are nuggets of inspirational advice in your comment and wonderful to hear that your sketch a day is continuing. I love the idea of the tiny picture frame. Yes, I sometimes mine old, not quite finished stories for lines/words/images/ideas that might work in a poem. I hope, one day, to be able to work some of my unfinished poems into longer pieces, too. I’m beginning to recognise that some of my poems are really short stories in disguise. As always, lovely to hear from you. Thanks for the comment 🙂 x

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  3. Heather Walker (@Heather91404743) says:

    I had such a rubbish January that writing took a nose-dive, though I did eventually manage to get into editing my novel. Poetry has taken a back seat though I have sent out some poems to one magazine and a poetry pamphlet to a competition (it didn’t make it in the last comp, so tweak it a little and trying again!).

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  4. Rebecca Gethin says:

    I’ve been hectically setting up my new business with Barefoot Books for children and getting v excited by new ‘business’ideas. I meant to write lots but have been distracted of course and this was a sudden decision at the turn of the year. Since the pension age was raised I have to keep re- inventing myself to earn my keep as writing doesn’t pay enough. But as the Barefoot Books are wonderful stories they are quite inspiring in themselves.

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  5. john foggin says:

    This post and and your latest on poetry blogs has got me all conflicted. Does planning cobweb strands count as part of the hour a day, or is it like counting crisps as one of your five-a-day because they’re made of vegetables? Two things, though. I like your stock-check that ends up in a handy bag. Because 90% of my poems come from writers’ workshops, all their first drafts are in nice big notebooks. The first drafts are always in continuous prose, and later I can use a highlighter or a coloured pen on lines and phrases I still like or am intrigued by. Because they’re written in the workshops, they’re all dated, and all the pages are numbered. Because many workshop tasks will kick off from a photocopied poem (thank you The Poetry business) I cut out each poem and stick it in the notebook and make a note of which draft belongs with which poem. Every few months I’ll make a wishlist of the first drafts that might have legs and make sure I add the page number. That way I’m never stuck for something that I ought to be getting on with. All (!) that remains is to overcome the sheer terror of actually writing a poem, of typing that first line that either has the DNA of a poem in it or doesn’t.
    On the business of cobweb spinning….every other week or so I’ll put one of my own poems in a post, but always, I hope, because it’s part of an argument I’m having with myself about what’s important to me about writing. I think one of my role models for this is Anthony Wilson, except he’ll be using other folks’ poems. But I’d like to think both us are writing mini-essays. By the way, I have another note book where I scribble down wishlist ideas for the cobweb. I date them, too.
    And please, Miss, was this part of my hour a day for today?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josephine Corcoran says:

      Thanks for a super response, John, bursting with good ideas 🙂 I like the highlighting and the pasting in of poems. You sound incredibly well organised. One of these days, I would love to come to a Poetry Business day but it will mean an overnight stay – not always easy for me at this time but that’s another matter. Cobweb spinning – that’s something else entirely, I don’t count it in ‘writing’ time – even though it is, of course, writing. When I’m heavily into a writing poetry phase, I find it harder to blog (or spin? I’m confused, too) But writing is a solitary business and blogging is more sociable so it’s good to do both – in my opinion – to stop feeling too isolated. I love Anthony Wilson’s blog and yes, mini-essays is a good description. Thanks for reporting in and now – back to work 🙂

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  6. stephen Bone says:

    My imagination appears to have clamped down for winter.
    However a faint – very faint – hint of spring here today may
    coax it out of hibernation. x

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  7. Claire Snook says:

    I feel that I could be very productive, only my full-time job that is 40 miles from my house keeps getting in the way :S Had some great feedback about my writing recently and really want to keep the momentum going but it’s hard. Now have a weekend off and the MIL has arrived! ARGH! Life! How are you so productive? What is your secret?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josephine Corcoran says:

      Sounds like you are doing pretty well, actually! One of the reasons I abandoned longer forms of writing and started writing poetry was that poetry trickles in through the tiny cracks just about available in an otherwise busy life. I work part-time, my husband is incredibly supportive, my teenagers are pretty independent and I don’t watch television. Lots of writing mileage in MILs, by the way. Thanks for commenting and very best wishes with your projects. – Josephine

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