Monday, 5 September 2011

On the Back Burner

07:42:00 Posted by Shaun , , , , 4 comments

Morning folks,

It is that time of the week again. There has been panic, there has been stress and there has been plenty of ‘oh, I’ll do it in the morning’ around here. I’m not quite sure this is what Ste had in mind when he chose the theme but, me being super organised and all- it was the blog that went ‘On the back burner’ in honesty.

The millstone has been turning though and a fine dusting of ideas are coming together, most of which I will save for my return from Devon.

When it comes to writing poetry, I bet many of you can relate to the idea of ‘it just not coming together’. I wait on it, normally. By this, I do not mean dinner service, I mean I’m quite happy to let the thought stew. Once thoroughly tender and oozing the gravy of creativity, my stewed thought gets on to a notepad. This is about it a lot of the time. I have half full pads, half empty pads (inspirational and solemn poetry), pads full of final drafts, pads full of second drafts... I just have pads.

The step of moving pads is where the blog theme comes in to its own. From that moment where the line hits your head, usually all alone and stubborn about the company you try and give it, it is just a waiting game sometimes. There are techniques, there are tips, there are sure-fire ways to bash out the line but, for me, it is the waiting that always finds the best one.

Are you like that? Do you write on pads? I don’t know what it says about me as a person but, I can’t really develop a poem on a computer. I find I change lines, lose direction between drafts and generally change the whole thing beyond recognition. Working on a screen, I often have no way back to the original piece I wanted to write.

I don’t know. Maybe it is just me and I lack the focus at times to always ‘Save As’ with a version number. It all seems a little clinical plus, I like to be able to whip it out wherever (on the bus) and get the juices flowing- you just can’t do that if you’re always wired in.

If you’re interested, I have a notebook full of ideas on poems I want to write documenting key figures of the age (a personal look at interesting people, historical perhaps), I have a fair few ideas on where I would take my Brett Easton Ellis style semi-autobiographical memoir (quite firmly on the back burner) and I also just have that pile of scraps- lines, pictures, inspiring thoughts, ideas, verses, whole poems even. Needless to say, it is only when I actually have a deadline to meet that these things get looked at in any real detail and usually, for a DGPS event something gets finished. It is at times of pressure when we need back-ups, plans and ways to beat the block... having lots on the back burner always helps me. I wouldn’t change my old fashioned methods for the world.

Cheers for reading,




Ashley R Lister said...

"oozing the gravy of creativity."

is it wrong that this line made me feel hungry?


Lindsay said...

Even on the backburner you are a more prolific and better poet than I will ever be haha. Great post, and get a wriggle on :)

Ste said...

Hope you got my text this morning Shaun. I'm generally reading everyone's blogs on my phone on the way to work at the mo so apologies for the lack of comments recently - hard to post on an iphone. Loved this post. I was worried that I might have given everyone a difficult topic as you all seem so PROLIFIC compared to me so it's reassuring to see others have the same issues. I have pads as well. Many, many pads. May the pad never die!!

Tommi T Kekola said...

Inspired by 'Many, many pads':

Why I sit on the back-burner

I drag myself inside my pad
yearning so much for the one
the inspiration, muse I once had
so at last my work would be done.

Opening the notepad does not help
at all, all I feel is I'm a hack
the block of papers just makes me yelp
including ideas that burn my back.

I whisk out my lucky rabbit's foot
and stamp it's pad on the inky pad
so now my pad is full of soot
all the walls look like I've gone mad.

And now in so many, many pads I'm covered
even the padding of the walls I chew
until the day they declare me recovered
I listen to the chant of 'Om mani padme hum'.