Our local spoken word poetry nights have started again! We’ve got a lovely new venue which means that we can now have poets of all ages on our stage. Listening to all the wonderful poets last night made me think of two things. First, the young poets (many of them teenagers) are really good – and really, much better than me, so why would I keep writing poetry? Second, all the poets whose body of work I’ve heard have a coherent style and voice – which I don’t have, yet. So, I was thinking last night that I should either just stop writing poetry because everyone else is much better than me or I should really work on the historical pieces that mean something to me. I could cultivate a coherent style and voice if I told the stories that interest me. Then I remembered that I told myself – and posted here – that I would focus on my novel/collection of short stories about this fictional female private investigator/police officer who forced me to write some scenes for her over the summer. Which then made me remember that I haven’t actually done anymore real writing on that project either. However, I have been reading fiction again! I think that next to writing reading is the best thing a writer can do. At least that is what I’m telling myself since I haven’t had any good writing bouts in a week or so. In any event, the last two books I read were works of historical fiction … coincidence? I think not! I was reminded that historical mystery fiction is interesting, fun, complex and informative. Regular best-selling novelists write in this genre all the time so I can too. However, I am a very bad multi-tasker; I think I must choose to focus my writing on the historical poems I’ve been dreaming of or the novel that is tugging at the corners of my creativity. Both projects will be challenging but I really can’t do it all. I must choose. So, I choose the novel. If poem-y ideas come along then I will respect them, but I’m going to spend the next twelve months working on the novel. I expect I’ll write a lot of background stuff that will be completely irrelevant to the final story, but building the proper ‘universe’ will be very important to a historical novel. Now to make sure I do my writing! I’m counting on some of you to keep me honest!
Be Lovely to Each Other,