TBBTG December 2019 Update – Is It Poetry and Other Thoughts


I haven’t completed an update for a while and to be honest, I was thinking of abandoning them altogether.   Only because my remit for this blog and this site is quite straightforward, that is, it’s an archiving project and the aim is just that, archive my writing so I have something available for people to look at now or in the future.  I had even considered dropping the idea of ‘poetry’, I am not sure I write poetry or poems, I am not doing myself a disservice but I am not sure they are poems as such but perhaps that is another debate.

But as you can see I have completed another update and we’re still committing to the word ‘poetry’.  Without being over dramatic, as I have mentioned before, dipping into your past is a surreal emotional experience that makes you experience a whole range of emotions.

There is no plan in terms of what writing pads and what years I pick.  I know subconsciously and consciously there are years, periods of my life I do not want to revisit, which I think is perfectly natural and there are points, like the recently typed up 1994 writing where I am painfully young and quite immature and that pours of the writing.  I barely knew my name at 19 so trying to put down on paper quality pieces of writing which reflected the world was always going to be a big ask.  That said the value of the earlier work is that it is exists and it is part of me, the whole really is more important than the sum of the parts.  That painful first foray into writing things down is invaluable and its value goes beyond its actual writing quality.  However as I was typing it up, I was struck by how, it was not quite as bad as I thought, I actually felt quite comfortable with it.  There is work recently, for example, March to April 1997 which I typed up and I really was not comfortable with it.  I thought it was pretty awful.  That in itself is interesting because in my head, my writing, in terms of quality and improvement is linear, so it had always been in my head, 1994 not very good, 1995 a bit better, 1996, I like some of this, 1997 a bit better still.  But that’s nonsense, it’s not linear and that’s because although you may technically become a better writer, if you are being truly honest and personal then you will reflect what is happening around and to you and at times that will be more interesting and more emotional than others.  Equally I used to force myself to write, literally living off my own fat because I was obsessive about it.  Now, I let it come and go and that’s more enjoyable, nothing for a few weeks then ideas in my head and I am off.   I look forward that moment when I can sit down and write.  I have never lost the love of writing and creating something, there is a feeling or feelings which are just fantastic. 

I am just starting on some work for 2006 which was a bit of a personal life implosion moment for me, lots of things, well two main things went drastically wrong in my life and I did lose my way.  The writing feels like it is wading through treacle, it also feels petty and rather sad in a way I kind of regret, it doesn’t feel as truthful.   I have found throughout my life that writing can become bogged down, that it becomes too heavy and it loses a lightness that strikes a balance between reflective of what you’re trying to say and having an appeal to others.  I am not saying everything from the 2006 period I am writing now is crap but it sometimes feels like I have taken the pen and I am repeatedly stabbing the paper with no real purpose.   There are moments when I really enjoy rediscovering my work even when the period in my life was challenging, I am not feeling that at present but it may change.  As I finish one writing pad and I pick another, I always sit down and read it to get myself reacquainted with.  I call it, ‘taking a run up at it’.   I like to have a quick look ahead.  

What I have found in my writing pads is gems, lots and lots of untitled and discarded pieces that have not been touched for years.   I think I mentioned previously titles are the last thing for me often, so I have lots of pieces that have never been titled.  It’s quite exciting to title something after many years, however I am aware I am giving it a title in my current state of mind and not at the time.  As a bit of a challenge I had a poem in my 1994 writing pad which was untitled and I tried to set myself the task of thinking, what would 19 year old me have called it and I eventually settled on ‘Secrets’ as a simple one word quite plain title which is how I appeared to title the other poems.

I am painfully aware I have regular readers and ‘likers’ and that I don’t get to other peoples work enough.  I try to but do prompt me if you want me to read anything, I really do not mind.

I have also started putting my age on my poems, I have already added the original written piece and I have put the date on, now I am adding age.  I think it gives a wonderful context to the poetry and perhaps for people reading it, it maybe allows them to have more thoughts about the poem and the age it was written.  For me it is almost like purposely forcing people to make a judgement, I like that and I think when you’re presenting your life, it works really well.

Thank you again for all the reads and the support and the comments, I am not amassing a lot of likes but nonetheless I value all those who, do not be afraid to ask me questions and recommend anything.

James

I am a 40 something sometime writer. I live in the South West of the UK but originally I am from Essex.

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