January 23, 2024 - Motivating factors


I’m feeling motivated! This is what is motivating me:

I have a first rough draft of the story I’m going to sub for the NYC Midnight comp, written over the weekend in a flurry of pomodoros. The wordcount limit is 2500 words, which means basically a first draft written in one session. Now it’s time to tease the threads and look at its shape, and play around with it some more.

I really like blogs or newsletters that introduce you to new ideas and new works of art, people moving in different spaces and thinking entirely different thoughts. I really like things that are completely inspirational, but also things that are completely mundane.

I am less interested in weird internal monologues, which ironically I think is pretty much 99.99% of what I write. I want to make a subtle shift somehow, to perhaps pull back on the POV for the blog to something just slightly above, just slightly over the shoulder, of its protagonist.

What else…

I have stacks of books I must read this year, including books of poetry I want to re-read:

  • Mary Jean Chan, Bright Fear
  • Maggie Nelson, Bluets
  • Seji Yoshida, Houses with a Story
  • Byung-Chul Han, Non-things, The scent of time, Hyperculture
  • Denver Grenell, 20,000 Bloody Words
  • Paul Muldoon, Horse Latitudes

I was thinking of stacking up some poetry beside (outside!) the toilet, so instead of taking my phone (sorry not sorry) I could instead read a little Tennyson or Yates or Kavanagh or Auden. I don’t have a lot of poetry, don’t read a lot of poetry, though it still hits me in that soft point in my chest whenever I make time for it.

I studied some poetry at some point as part of my literature degree: learned some of meter and rhyme, and some of the formal constructs (which I have mostly forgotten). I’m always interested in how poets know” how to make” a piece a prose poem or something more sparse that wriggles down the page; how to shape the form to match the meat, perhaps. I guess it is all part of the fluency a poet achieves with the form, stylistic choices but also probably personal preference.

Bright Fear is really, really good.