Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Cycles and What I Love about Them

I'm a cyclical writer. When I started writing poetry I didn't know this and the first time I had a quiet cycle I thought I was done writing poetry. Ha! As if I could walk away from the poetry madness so easily, youth is wasted on the young. Anyway, I've come to really appreciate my cycles, and as is probably becoming apparent to anyone who reads this blog I also love making lists---here we go:

What I Love About the Creative Cycle

  1. Losing myself entirely and getting to that 'place' where poems come from. (Yum)
  2. My creative cycles are really creative, the last one led to 40 poems in approx. 8 months.
  3. Of course a lot of those (most) went to the circular file, but I was still in that 'place' when I wrote them.

What I Love About the Quiet Cycle

  1. I don't snap out when someone (husband) interrupts my train of thought.
  2. I get the distance I need to revise the new poems.
  3. I get the time I need to make submissions, it's part of the 'job' and makes me feel like I'm still working when I'm not writing.
  4. I become more social, call people back etc. (Hmmm I must be pretty awful to live with during that creative cycle.)
  5. I read, and read, and read. Not just poetry. I read everything.

What I've Learned after Many Cycles

  1. To respect the quiet cycles, they are as much of the process as the creative ones.
  2. That I am writing during quiet times just not with pen and paper.
  3. To not force poems, it's disheartening and too reminiscent of my reporting days.
  4. That I'm lucky I'm not a supermodel because I would be 'washed up' by next birthday.
  5. Getting the 'goods' takes time (in my case) and the 'goods' are always worth the wait.

Well, aren't you glad you popped by today? This blog stuff, I don't know how long I can keep it up without boring everyone to death.


On another note, and I believe a testament that I may be losing my mind; we had our house appraised yesterday. While I was making out the check to pay the appraiser I noticed that the appraisal document was dated January 24. I had already made a deposit at the bank and mailed a submission both dated February 1st that morning and I was trying to convince this poor man that he couldn't possibly be right. Of course, he was right, leave it to me to misplace an entire week of 2005.


Wendy Wisner said...

Thanks, Suzanne! This is a very comprehensive and true description of what it's like for me. Gives me comfort...

C. Dale said...

Great post. Hardly boring at all. My writing life is much the same, filled with a lot of quiet time and the occasional burst of writing.

Suzanne said...

Thanks Wendy & C. Dale,
It's great to know that other poets have a similiar process, not to mention that I'm not boring you to death. :-)

paula said...

Really intetresting, Suzanne. I suppose most poets are cyclical, surely I am one. The difference is that during the quiet cycle, I am not so quiet, have to do something, tinker with pics, images till words come back.

gina said...

Thanks for this post, esp. "What I Love about the Quiet Cycle." The silence is still undoing for me sometimes. Good to be reminded.


Peter said...

Great post Susan:
Though I am not really very cyclical in my writing, I do find cultivating quiet and silence as essential ways to get the poems to come. Like making a place for a bird to light onto the palm of your hand.

Suzanne said...

Thanks for stopping by everyone. It's so interesting to hear about your different processes.

You know, I do something similiar. I end up focusing on the garden, or cooking, or learning about something new.

They are a little disquieting aren't they, those quiet periods? I'm glad you found something useful here on litwindopane. :-)

I definitely need solitude coupled with blissful quiet to write. I'm always amazed by poets who can write anywhere: coffee shops, subways, your basic noisy places.