Tag Archives: the creative process

Words Thrown Out

Words thrown out
Dance about
And float into the sky
Or, as lead balloons, die.

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What Are The Pros And Cons Of Blogging From The Perspective Of A Poet?

Licence to use image obtained – Copyright: 3dlabs2015 / 123RF Stock Photo

What are the pros and cons of blogging from the perspective of a poet? To answer this question one needs to consider matters which touch wholly on poetry, and issues pertaining to blogging more generally. The below should be read baring in mind the caveat that (to state the blatantly obvious) poets are individuals and what works for one will not (necessarily) work for another. With that caveat on the table, here are my pros and cons.

Pros

1. Publishing your poetry on a blog brings it to the attention of a wide audience. The poet gains followers who, in turn spread the word regarding the poet’s work, thereby increasing the blog’s following and enhancing the exposure of the poet’s writing.
2. Having a blog allows the poet to publicise upcoming poetry readings and, of course provide links to their published works (if such exist) on platforms such as Amazon.
3. One of the questions asked when I signed up for an Audio Book Creation Exchange (ACX) account was along the lines of “do you have a blog/website and, if so how many followers do you have?” From the perspective of ACX, they want to know that books published on their platform will sell and a person with an online following has an obvious advantage when it comes to selling books, as (to state the obvious) the more people who are aware of your writing (poetry or otherwise) the greater the number of titles you are (potentially at least) likely to sell.
4. Having a blog enables poets to connect with fellow poets thereby building up a community of like minded individuals.

Cons:

1. Responding to comments can be time consuming (time the poet could be spending writing). One can, of course disable comments on a WordPress blog (WordPress being my platform of choice). However (in my view) a blog without the ability to comment is a dead thing. Comments equal vibrancy and engagement which is why I positively welcome them.
2. Blog followers do not (necessarily) equate to book sales. People follow blogs for many and diverse reasons and some (having subscribed) will forget about your blog and never comment and/or like posts.
3. If all (or significant numbers of your poems) appear online, why should readers buy your books? (they have, after all already read your poems online).
4. Poems published online may (as with any other form of writing) be stolen. One can (and should) include a Copyright Notice on your site. This will, however not prevent the possibility of theft.

Conclusion

If I were not of the view that blogging is not of advantage to me as a poet, I would cease to blog. The fact that I continue to publish and engage online demonstrates that I believe the pros of blogging (from the poets perspective) outweigh the cons.

Scorpions Of The Mind

I find
That scorpions of the mind
Run rampant in sleep.
To keep
Them at bay
I shall away
And write.

They caper
On paper.
But the thing
Is they will
Return to sting
And bite.
At night.
Therefore To still
The thing that would kill
I must write.

“Oh, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!
Thou know’st that Banquo, and his Fleance, lives”.
Macbeth: Act 3, scene 2.

The 10 Worst Story Openings

An interesting article on “The 10 Worst Story Openings”, (http://lauralee1.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/10-ways-not-to-open-story.html). While I agree with some of the points made in this piece, getting hung up on how one should (or should not) begin a story can lead to a loss of spontaneity, with the writer worrying about the perfect (if such a thing exists) beginning rather than simply writing the best story they are capable of. Again what one reader perceives as being clichéd may well be regarded by others as constituting a great opening paragraph.

Kevin

Reread, Reread And Reread Again

You have spent eons polishing that poem. Read it through until the words swim like spectres before your eyes and, finally, being satisfied with the results of your labour pressed publish. What a feeling of satisfaction at a job well done flows through one when one’s perfectly crafted words our out there for the great reading public to pour over. A few days later you sit down and reread your pearls of wisdom. Oops your writing which seemed to constitute perfection personified suddenly reveals imperfections.
To take an example from my own work. Below is my poem “Fire” rendered twice. The first rendering appeared on this blog, newauthoronline.com and the second (polished) rewrite can be found in “Dalliance; A Collection of Poetry and Prose”.

Fire As It Appeared On Newauthoronline:

“I have felt the fire at midnight’s hour

It kindles brightly and sinks within the hour.

I have gazed at embers dying fast

Looked into the future and gazed into the past

I have raked the ashes cold, felt the bleakness in my soul”.

Fire As Published in “Dalliance: A Collection of Poetry and Prose”:

“I have felt the fire’s power;
It kindles brightly and sinks within the hour.
I have watched the embers dying fast;
Looked into the future and gazed into the past.
I have raked the ashes cold, felt the bleakness in my soul”.

In the first rendering the word “hour appears in the first and second lines while, in the second (rewrite)it is replaced by “power” in the first line. Again, in the original version the word “gazed” appears in lines 3 and 4 while, in the poem as published in “Dalliance” it is changed (in line 3 to “watched”, with “gazed” shown in line 4 only. Word repetition has a place in poetry. However in “Fire” the utilisation of “hour” and “gazed” so close together served to render my poem less than perfect, hence the rewrite.
Most of my writing takes place during daylight when my brain is firing on all cylinders. “Fire” was, if memory serves written during late evening which may explain in part at least the excessive repetition employed in the poem. The lesson I draw from all this is the importance of writing when one’s brain is at it’s sharpest or, if writing does take place when sleep is calling put one’s creation to one side and revisit it when the mind is fresh. Finally reread, reread and reread again.

For “Fire” as it appeared on my blog please go to (http://newauthoronline.com/2015/03/14/fire/). For “Dalliance; A Collection of Poetry and Prose” please visit (http://www.amazon.com/Dalliance-collection-poetry-prose-Morris-ebook/dp/B00QQVJC7E).

Kevin