I have always liked to have multiple projects on the go: poetry and prose; differing themes and styles. I like to think the variety keeps things fresh.
There comes a time, however, when striking a workable balance, juggling more than one thing, simply doesn’t work – and that happens when I’m getting close to finishing something. It’s as if all my energy needs to go in to that final sprint, the winning line in sight. Back both horses if you want to, but only one can win.
Which is where I am now. About 65k words into the draft of my next novel (and about 20k-ish to go), and poetry takes a back step. I start to get consumed with the need to finish. Whatever it is I’m writing, when it reaches that state I become creatively myopic. I can only see one thing.
But actually, in the case of prose, that’s not entirely true because I actually start to get ideas about the next thing I’m going to write. Or, in the present circumstance, the form which it is going to take. The next prose piece – whatever it is – feels like it will be first person. Time to ride that old nag again..!
Anyway, one step at a time. Finish the draft; take a break; start the editing process – which, bizarrely, I find frees me to start writing other new stuff again.
But for now, pushing on, all prose, no poetry; one project, not many. Which is why my writing diary may look a little ‘flat’ at the moment. But it is a reflection on how things are, and that’s exactly what it’s supposed to be…