Sunday, December 18, 2011

Making of The End

Note to self: Always write down wandering thoughts that seem vaguely poetic and always save your scraps. My poem The End sat in my scraps folder (that is, the folder on my laptop) for a year just as 2 separate images that I would whittle for a moment whenever I was working on a poem. Until, with the perspective that comes from memory loss, I realised the 2 images could relate to each other as end-of-life scenarios. They became verses 1 and 2 and I made up the 3rd verse to complete the idea. Then I whittled some more, now that the idea was clear in my head and it emerged a publishable poem.

I mention this because sometimes I hear writer friends saying you have to be disciplined and not stray off the path of your goal. But I only have one writing rule: If the juices are flowing, write it down. You never know what it will become.

If I may get a bit carried away, I love this saying: "You never know when something begins". I don't know who said it first but I'm quoting John Berger, incidentally, from a talk on his recent book Bento's Sketchbook, which I'm really enjoying. Anyway, not just a saying to be applied to writing, obviously but a really nice one for life, I think.

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