Friday, 10 January 2014

Poetry is Not a Weekend Project

It's no secret, by now, that I'm working on my first collection of poetry, you can read the details here. I wanted to pop in and talk about the construction phase of my book, The Volume of Silence. I understand there are people out there who can, on a whim, decide to put out a book of poetry. So over the space of a weekend they throw together a few of the poems they like, in whatever order they happen to land in. They may even go so far as to doodle a few "illustrations" for their book. They spend thirty minutes designing a cover and VOILA, by Monday morning it's on Amazon. The Volume of Silence is not a weekend endeavor. Really, it's a book that is twenty years in the making.

Twenty years. Legitimately, I could toss on a cover (I even have something nifty I'll show off at the bottom of the post) throw the poems together in any old order and be published by Monday. But my brain doesn't work that way. I obsess over little things like comma placement (if I use them at all). Minute details bother me, like how one poem sounds coming after another poem, and I still haven't gotten to that phase of the project yet. I might even enlist some help with that. Why? Because I'm far to close to my own work. I've been writing it for twenty years. Well, to be fair, none of the poems in my book will date back twenty years. But some date as far back as 6 or 7, some longer, I'm sure. Some were written yesterday and some will be penned tomorrow.

I could never be a weekend author kind of person. Partly because I'm really enjoying the process. While I don't want to drag it out forever (My deadline is Feb 9th for completion) I want to savor the process. The process is a kind of love affair in itself. I get to construct an entire book from the ground up. I've written a couple novels, I've written short stories and flash fiction, but by far, I've written more poetic words than words in any other form. Poetry is more than a weekend love affair for me, and thus my book is more than a whim. It's my passion.

Now, I enlisted a friend of mine, a budding photographer, to help me with some sort of cover art. It's likely not the official cover art (if I get a publisher they'll likely provide the cover art) but I wanted a fancy graphic to use to promote my book. So, without further ado....

Photo and Design by Ashley Lund

Well, that's it. I rambled on about why I won't hammer out a poetry book in a weekend and now I must go. I have more work to do on my book. Hopefully it'll get picked up and I can hand these out for Christmas presents in 2014!

If you'd like to read some samples of my work, visit the links on this page.



4 comments:

  1. I get what you mean about obsessing over every little thing. In the past, I've only gotten a few hundred words into my latest novel before I lose interest because I can't stop editing! lol.

    By the way, it's "ado" not "adieu".

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    1. Thanks for pointing out my boo-boo! :)

      If you liked this post, I wrote another you may enjoy. http://mariahewilson.blogspot.ca/2013/09/get-out-of-your-way.html :)

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  2. That's actually a very admirable trait not to want to write a book like that in a weekend. Poetry, just like prose, takes time and revisions. So I can definitely appreciate that. I can also relate. My largest project--my novel--has been a work in progress for the last 14 years. I know that I'll eventually get it right, but with each year comes more experience and a better understanding of the piece I'm working on. Heck, even short stories usually take me a good three to four years to complete. lol.

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    1. It really depends on the project. Some poems have taken months to write and have gone through several revisions before they are deemed "right"

      Others fall from my head, onto paper and are perfect. I'm finding it's the same way with my flash fiction. I'm either compelled to drastically change something, or to leave it pretty well alone.

      But I could never put a book out in a weekend. As much as I want to be published. I'd really like to do it right.

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