08 December 2008

Getting back to blogging, getting back to writing, getting back to myself

I feel like the last few months - since before the publication of My Iron Spine - have been rather busy and a bit crazy.

Work was extra busy as we finished off a theme and prepared for its launch (I work for an online encyclopedia), there were things to do on the book and then the launch, then I got sick and then I went on holiday, and in between there have been lots of things to do for JAAM, which I'm usually behind on. And then the computer went screwy and had a tantrum (ie shut down) every time we tried to connect to the internet.

But now things are looking up - the computer is all fixed (thanks Dad), work is calmer, JAAM things are pretty much done for now, and the evenings are nice and long and so should be perfect for me to restart the writing routine that was working quite well for me, which involved hanging out in cafes and writing a couple of times a week on my way home from work.

I'm planning to throw myself back into my project of writing poems that take films as their starting point, but I can see the project expanding into things more tenuously connected to cinema. Not long ago I had a read over the things I'd written so far in this project, and discovered that I didn't really like most of it. That was a bit disappointing, but also kind of exciting - made me feel that I needed to aim for something a bit more meaningful and satisfying.

Another thing I've been thinking about a bit lately is how many of the people who have said they really liked My Iron Spine have mentioned particularly enjoying the autobiographical poems of the first section. I had felt I was moving away from writing poems that were personal, but it has made we reconsider that - made me think about that value of a personal voice, and consider how I could introduce that in a meaningful way into the kind of thing I'm working on at the moment.

Anyway, wish me luck as I launch back into it all...


Anonymous said...

Good luck! xx

Harvey Molloy said...

Well, I like both sections of the book. What I liked was that the personae section doesn't completely dominate the book. It's hard balancing the personal with the mask, eh? On the one hand I think "write what you're feeling, not what you're thinking" and then on the other hand I think "write about what you think about the feeling" and then I write and wait for something to take hold where I'm not thinking that much but writing so I can spend months polishing what comes through in that space which opens when I've thought too much and then stopped thinking. Poetry drives me crazy, I obsess about poetry, I wrestle with poetry, I'm utterly besotted and in love with it, I wish I could pack it in, no, I'd never pack it in now, you know?

Helen Rickerby said...

Helen, thank you!

Harvey, thanks for your comment - and you must not ever pack in poetry. For me, it doesn't drive me crazy - it just makes me feel bad sometimes: when I'm not writing, when I'm not writing enough, when I don't think what I'm writing is very good, when I fell like I'm not getting the ok stuff I write out into the world enough, and so on and so forth. But the delight in writing poetry, and sometimes getting it right, and having something to show for my life, makes it worth doing. I'm sure you don't really wish you could pack in it - you'd lose too big a part of yourself. And for one am really looking forward to seeing where you and your poetry are off to next.