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Friday, April 15, 2011

Falling Out of the Blogosphere

or something like that, as I aim to write a NoPoMo poem a day (though sometimes it's every other day . . . ), and learning a lot about the benefits of being a more-or-less daily poet instead of a sporadic once-a-week-or-so poet.

When I started the one a day thing I was away at a writer's colony, so of course it was a cinch. Then I got home, went back to work, and the energy sort of left the wine (to quote Robert Bly in "The Man in the Black Coat Turns").

It was time to dig down deep. And deeper. To recap, I started bringing my notebook to the playground, just like back in the day when I had babies and they napped in the stroller while I wrote! It's harder to do now, though, cuz they want me to take my turn on the monkey bars, which how can I say no to that? I mean, how many 50-year old moms do you know who can make it all the way across, swinging like a lemur?

Okay, but I managed to write two poems that way. Not while swinging. Not quite that agile yet. But before and after swinging.

And then I came up with an even better idea: leaving for work a little early (okay, quite earlier, as in, before the sun rises), pulling into the #1 parking spot (yep, it's always there if you get up early enough), and writing for 30 minutes before I grab hold of the briefcase and head for the door.

Oh, man, what a sweet way to start the day, though in truth I only go to work in an actual office two days a week, so the rest of the time it's me against the laundry, the laptop, and the little ones (though they're the least bothersome now that they spend 6 hours a day in school).

Okay, one other suggestion for getting the daily poem knocked out: arrive 15 minutes early to pick up your son or daughter from their after school activity. My son plays Ultimate frisbee till 4:40 pm on Thursdays, so I pulled up to the school at 4:20, giving me 15 minutes of silent and golden writing time. Opened up my laptop and typed up what I'd scribbled in my notebook that morning as fast as my fingers allowed me. Had to drop it all fast and run to get him--not a big fan of the sudden whisking away and switch from Writer to Mom in half a nanosecond--but at least I started something I now look forward to finishing up . . . after the kids fall asleep tonight.

Our Lady of Perpetual Excuses is beginning to morph into Our Lady of I Can Do This Daily Poem Thang. I don't do it often, but I am going to take myself a leetle teeny-tiny bow.

Do you deserve to take a bow as well? Please, if you have a secret for getting yourself writing each (or nearly each day), share it here. We could all use a bit of advice and inspiration. Thanks!


Joannie said...

Cheers to you for finding writing time AND for being able to swing across the monkey bars. For me, it's the bus--that's when I'm free writing. The shaping comes later, at night, and over days or even weeks--so my "poem a day" really means "start a day" or "draft a day."

Martha Silano said...

I think it's better to call these writing times "free writing," as a way of lowering expectations, etc. Otherwise, I get discouraged because the writing is so, well, "bad." What I'm learning is that I can mine all of it later for a few good lines . . . which ends up being very handy when I am actually making poems. You are lucky to have those daily bus rides. Keep up the good work!

David Graham said...

No secrets, but I have discovered in my own practice that regularity itself has benefits--of speed, fluency, ease. Every day I do it makes the next day easier. Plus I don't fret the small stuff as much. And enjoy writing more than ever.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Great job, Martha! Mom-poets always amaze me. So glad you are finding a way to make it work.

Kristin said...

My way to find writing time: to give up all the chores I feel I should be doing (I don't dust unless my parents are coming to visit; my windows are dirty). Or to write before I unload the dishwasher, not after the daily chores are done.

I've also gotten in the habit of always having paper and pen with me at meetings. Lots of down time in meetings (waiting for the meeting to start; talking about issues that don't affect my department). I can't write a whole poem, but I can capture an idea or write a line here or there.

Martha Silano said...

"The dishes can wait." Ellen Gilchrist

Ginny said...

My comment is not especially in response to this particular posting, although finding the source of poems and writing enough is a topic I certainly can relate to. I just want to let you know that
After Reading There Might Be an Infinite Number of Dimensions
a poem I found online, is the one that says most beautifully what I have wanted to say. You wrote the poem I wish I could have written...
G. Connors

Martha Silano said...

Thanks, Ginny, for your kind words about my Writer's Almanac poem. I appreciate it.

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

FYI, I linked you over at the clevelandpoetics blog:

Martha Silano said...

Hey thanks, Geoffrey, and for featuring me on your cool Cleveland blog. I appreciate it, so much so that I just linked your blog to my blog!