One of the interesting things about writing a blog is that you notice when certain posts are hitting the big time in the stats department. Some posts are forever ignored by readers but, for the last month or so, a post I wrote last July ‘What are your writing plans for the summer?‘ has been receiving more traffic than usual.
So, hello, if you’re here because something about that post piqued your interest. I’m guessing that if you’re someone who likes the sound of making plans you might also be a list-writer. In which case you might also be someone who likes notebooks and pens. In which case you’ll probably enjoy Anthony Wilson’s post ‘The stationery thing’ and I don’t mind waiting here while you have a read of that and meander away to other articles linked in Anthony’s post before you come back.
It’s easy to scoff at plan-makers and list-writers and call us procrastinators but that doesn’t stop both activities being deeply satisfying and a lot of fun, especially if you use a statement notebook and a beautiful pen. I’d be lost without my notebooks. My only rule seems to be that I keep fact and fiction separate. That isn’t to say that there isn’t some merging of the two, in autobiographical writing, for instance, but I use one book for diary writing, blog post notes and plans, and I have several notebooks on the go for actual creative writing, poetry, prose or scripts (since 2010 it’s been poetry). Writing things down helps me sort out my thoughts. I have so many ideas swimming around in my head I would feel I was drowning if I couldn’t write them down and try to order them. I find writing things down very calming.
Anyway, I have to say that you are probably many steps ahead of me this year, if you’re already making plans for your summer writing projects. I’m not quite at that stage. I’m still reading through poems submitted to And Other Poems during the last open window (massively helped by my co-editor Rishi Dastidar to whom I’m hugely grateful). I’m working on completing a collection of poems (might be a pamphlet, might be something longer….) but I can’t do much planning and plotting about that. These poems are arriving when they’re ready and not a moment sooner. No list, plan, gorgeous notebook or luxurious writing implement is going to help me write any faster. That’s just the way it is.
For now, though, I would love to hear from you if you’re planning something, writing-wise, for the summer months. For people working in education, or studying, summer can mean more free-time. Parents and carers might be more restricted than usual but might be able to squeeze in writing during the hours usually spent ferrying children to and from school and extra-curricular activities. Lots of firms experience a quieter time in the summer months as clients put off making decisions until everyone’s back from holiday. Whatever the reason, if summer promises to lend your calendar some more writing time, I’d love to hear about it.
Of course, you might be planning on diving into a swimming pool rather than a writing project. Hope that goes smoothly, too.