Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Procrastination as an artform

Another year, another set of excuses. (And yes, I know it's the end of February – you did read the title of this post, didn't you?)

Every year I try to start out with a new workbook. Which is pretty discouraging if the old workbook isn't even half filled. But that's the way it seems to work (when it works). If I'm being honest, I've managed to develop a set of odd superstitions about my workbooks:
  • The first poem written in there is going to be crap.
  • The number of pages in the book is greater than the number of pages I will write during the course of the next (calender) year.
  • Adding a picture or any sort of adornment to the book cover before the year is over will suck creativity out of me as I (try to) write, and doom that year's efforts.
  • Some biros are better than others; my best poetry is written with a pivot pen.
I've given up trying to fight my way free of them. They just sit there, dangling over me as I write. Or try to write. Or come up with excuses for not writing. It's taken me a couple of years to understand that I don't get any extra points for being sensible. So I just try to work around my superstitions – it's not that hard to leave the workbook plain. And the "first poem is crap" one means that I can write the first poem of each year in complete freedom, and not even feel it necessary to pretend I'm going to edit it.

Trouble is, my pivot pens (samples from my dad's work a couple of years ago) are a limited supply. And are running out ...

What are your writing superstitions?

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