Thursday, July 06, 2006

Structurally Writing

During the process of rehabilitating certain life patterns and habits I have noticed that creating better structure in daily activities has enabled me to be more productive as a writer on current projects but feel less stressed. I still have a long way to go yet to have things where I want them but I can already feel the impact of the improvements thus far in place.

Conducting a periodic inventory on what is important to me is how I plan to keep the structure going in the most effective direction. All this sounds rather too planned for anyone wishing to be more creative but having less self-induced stress does allow the muse to speak more freely. Not that I believe in the muse per se. It all boils down to knowing how you work and what you need to do in order to get the noise out of your head. I'd rather not leave my creative life to chance, thank you very much.

I've been too chicken to actually do anything with some of what I've written. This has to do with a chapbook of poetry that I've written over the years that serves as a chronology of my life and important truths and questions that have come up. I suppose the key reason I've been somewhat hesitant about shopping it or even letting the interested literary agent look at it is because of how different the overall work is to most I've read. Poetry, by tradition, tends to be very serious and profound - or at least seeks to be. Not all, mind you, but a good bit of it does. My work is more perverse: a Celtic view of the world where sad situations become funny and funny situations become sad. My humor can emerge in the worst possible circumstances not because I try to ward off dealing with the situation at hand but simply because I see humor is almost anything. Humor doesn't even rate as a survival tool with me. It is what it is.

That said, I am in the process of looking at some places to send a few poems and see what kind of reaction I get. They certainly are not any worse than some of what I've read. I do not fit neatly in the traditional view of the sad sack, serious poet but then I don't fit neatly into any traditional model of anything so why worry about that now?

2 comments:

Bruce said...

Hey Nancy

Maybe it'd be of some use for you if you'd post a few of them poems of yours! Let us give you some honest feedback and then I'm sure you'll make a clearer decision as to send them somewhere or let them rot and accumulate dust at the bottom of a drawer somewhere.
Just a thought.

John P said...

In the film "Crimes and Misdemeanors" by Woody Allen, Alan Alda plays film-maker Lester who defines comedy as "tragegy plus time" and goes on to explain that "you know, when Lincoln died, you couldn't laugh at that, but ..." Of course, Alda's character was really Allen's voice, and I guess he is saying that over time, what seems tragic can be seen as funny, of course sometimes in a peverse sort of way. I think we see this now all the time in the stand-up routines of the late-night talk show hosts... They take very serious issues, really tragic circumstances and then spin them into some kind comic joke...

I think Woody is one of those breed of comics who are very rare, who tell the truth in a way one has never heard before, and in a funny way. When you hear how funny the truth is for the first time, you have to laugh, and therein lies the genius.