Not having been very productive in my writing lately I took myself off to a café to write this morning. I took with me Writing Poetry by W.N. Herbert and my writing pad. I ordered a hot chocolate and found a table by the window (the comfy sofa was already occupied….drat!). I began reading the last chapter of the book which is all about theme and looking at the poems we write and see if there is any pattern forming. This is good way to look at poems when thinking about putting a collection together. There were some writing exercises which I managed to do too while out. In all I spent about an hour on this chapter (still more to do). I was able to switch off from others chat and concentrate on reading and writing. I felt I had accomplished something as well as it proving useful for further writing.
I have thought about the themes I write which include nature, relationships (which has many sub categories), the dark side of life and religious writing. I now have a list of ideas for poems on the relationship theme which perhaps I had not considered before. Getting ideas is always difficult. Those ‘bolts from the blue’ poems that seem to write themselves come so infrequently and having a list will help. Anything that makes me put pen to paper has to be good. We all need a little shove to keep us on track.
Sometimes poetry competitions (or indeed story competitions) have themes. Sometimes I have a poem that fits the theme but often I am stuck. As the deadline looms I may have a ‘light bulb moment’ but not always and then when I read what others have written I think, ‘yes, now why didn’t I think of that?’ If I can’t find a way into a theme then that’s it.
Now I need to think about what I am doing next with my writing. Instead of blogging I should be sending out poems! And that I guess is my next move. I need to look at different magazines and see which ones I feel my poetry fits into and send something. Now I have a little more time I am gradually catching up with a backlog of magazines, including writing magazines and poetry magazines. I am beginning to re-connect with my writing. It will be all too easy to just drift now I have time but I know I must make some effort and some decisions as my output this year has been somewhat poor (though I do have a good excuse as I have allowed myself some time to pursue some other interests). The main aim is to claim back some writing time in my week!