on freakouts and false syllogisms
The other day, I had a freakout about one of my projects--The Girl With the Most Cake. I started it back in October, wrote about half the poems I wanted to include, and then got so busy with other stuff that I had to set it aside for a while. I started working on it again in earnest last month, but I got stuck, because I was trying to force myself to write the other poems that I'd mapped out back in October, and they just aren't calling to me anymore. I decided to push back the release date; I deleted the preorder page from my Etsy shop, and I offered refunds to people who have already preordered and don't want to wait. Secretly, I thought: "I'll never finish it. It was a good idea but I missed my chance." Of course, as soon as I took the pressure off myself to get it done now, and to do it a certain way, I had something of a breakthrough, and now I know it will be finished. I'm not setting a release date yet, because I'm focused on the very-close-now release of What We Talk About When We Talk About Punk, and on recording a spoken word album, and on finishing the poetry zine I'm making with Misha Brandon Speck. (Which I am so excited about, I can't even explain. It's tentatively titled It's Like the 'Watch the Throne' of Tender Punk Poems, which is just!!) So I have no idea when TGWTMC will be done, but it will be done eventually. Some things you can (or have to) force into a deadline and a formula, other things you need to take your time and experiment with.
I'm starting to accept some things about my writing, in general. When I fall in love with another writer's work--whether poetry or prose--I have a tendency to create a false syllogism in my head: "Their writing is good. My writing is nothing like theirs. Therefore my writing is bad." But I've begun to remind myself that just because one style of writing is good, doesn't mean a different one is bad--it's just different. I have particular strengths, different writers have different strengths, and that's okay! That's good! How terrible and dull would literature be if we all wrote about the same exact topics in the same exact style? So terrible! That's not to say that I'm not going to experiment, or push myself to try things I'm not sure I'm capable of--I just mean that I'm learning not to put myself down because there are particular styles of writing I'm better at than others, and particular topics I return to again and again.
Speaking of trying new things: I'm trying something new and moving my main blog here, to my website, rather than doing the majority of my blogging on Tumblr. I'm not deleting my Tumblr--it's easier to post full pieces of my older writing there, and I enjoy using the platform to share other things I'm interested in; and I would miss my mutuals and other connections I've made. But I think that "serious" blogging often gets lost in the endless stream of memes, so I'm trying to separate the two things. We'll see how it goes.