Back in December, I stated on the About Sweepy Jean page of this blog that I would have a book of poetry out by June. I have since revised that portion of the About Me because … wait for it … I haven’t completed my poetry collection!
In all honesty, I knew that was an ambitious undertaking–going from about 5% to finish in six months–but I figured if I gave myself a deadline, I would push myself harder. I’m happy to say that this strategy worked and that I’m about 85% done, maybe. As life and time move on my poetry is necessarily changing.
Also, I’ve become more attuned to my writing process. Sometimes I need distance from the words, to consider them from afar before going back to them. Even when I’m not physically putting words on a page, I am arranging the words in my head, either the ones already written or the ones I will write in the future. Sometimes I force myself not to think or talk about writing and to just live in the moment, although I must admit that I often see these moments as potential subjects to write about.
In addition, a lot of my time lately has been spent conducting internet research on the business of writing. Even though the writing process is 80% of the reward for me, I want to share what I write with others, as I talked about in a previous post. I also want to put out a good product and reach as many people as possible. The to-do list is daunting and the concept of “branding” I read so much about is a difficult one for me.
Even as I think of myself as someone who defies labels, I wonder where I fit in. What exactly is my brand; what am I going for here? Whatever I appear to be I am that and none of it, so is my brand “No Brand?” Is that a sustainable paradox in this galaxy? Is just being a poet enough? How do I market “No Brand” and where do I find the time to do it all and still write?
Now more than ever it seems that the road to publication, even self publication, is not a journey but an algorithm. Back in my day I never thought so. Maybe I was naïve.
I’ve been listening to musician-poet Gil Scott-Heron a lot lately; I’ve admired him since the 70’s. Here’s a clip of him reading his poem “Where Did the Night Go” from his latest CD I’m New Here. In the 16 years since his last offering, he’s been through hell and I’m not sure if he’s 100% back. In this one, he’s ditched the political musings for which he’s famous in favor of the personal and postmodern. This reading feels so organic.
© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2010.