Is procrastination a sufficient writing goal?

I’m sorry to say that I haven’t touched my novel in about a week, but nor have I often had to write the dreaded word NONE on my writing spreadsheet every day. I’ve been keeping up better with the poem-a-day challenge better than I’ve ever been able to in the past. (Despite the fact that I’ve won NaNo three times, I’ve NEVER successfully completed a poem-a-day-for-one-month challenge. I came closest in April of 2009, mostly thanks to this blog, I think).

I think I’ve done so poorly with poetry challenges because I have this misconception that poetry is easier than prose. I mean, you don’t have to really worry about “what will happen” or “resolving” anything, right? But you do. You have to worry about it every single day, every single creation. So while it may not rely as heavily on ability to sustain long-term tension, I can’t pretend the need for a good beginning, middle, and end aren’t there. I’m also reading The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry because it was the most enticing, current anthology I found at the library. And what do you know? Just as I suspected, reading poetry DOES help in writing poetry. I AM one day behind on my poems, by the way, because I was too exhausted after a sleep-deprived weekend and 9-ish hour drive back from the CTA conference last weekend. But it was all worth it, and my latest entry at the Young Adult Catholics blog explains why. [AND tomorrow I will be revising the poems I managed to squeeze in the other two days of the conference, along with some other poems from this project scattered amongst various paperjournals. Hopefully I’ll be posting something here.]

I’ve also been hoarding all sorts of neat writing links and discussions hoping to reflect on them here, but, I do worry about this blog’s ability to distract me from the novel that needs to be finished soon. Still, November is like an all-you-can-eat-buffet for writers, with excess writing tips and discussion everywhere. And it’s hard not to fill myself up to the brim with it all, and then pass it on to the audience of this humble blog as well. Who knew NaNoWriMo could still consume so much of my time even when I’m not participating? Still, I did pull together a write-in for teen NaNo-ers (and other teen writers) at the library next week, and I can’t wait. It may be the perfect stretch of time for me to finish draft three of ETD at last (and it may also be the perfect excuse to keep procrastinating whipping that last chapter into shape until then!)

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4 Responses to Is procrastination a sufficient writing goal?

  1. Jenna says:

    I love “The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry”! I wonder if I will every be able to work my way through that monster. I love d.a. levy’s “Poem for Beverly.” Sometimes random lines from that poem pop through my head.

    • I really like it, too! I was just letting it fall open and reading whatever happened to be there, but then I started reading it from the beginning. I have no hope of finishing it before I bring it back to the library, but it was definitely the right book to check out for this project. I will look up Poem for Beverly!

      • Jenna says:

        I bought it in 2002 (I remember that only because I bought it around Christmas when I worked at B&N) and still haven’t come close to taking in it all – I can’t imagine trying to fit it in during a library lending period!

        Poem for Beverly is on page 30. 🙂

      • Thank you! That is a lovely poem. She knows!

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