I’m thinking of taking a sabbatical from poetry. Giving it up for a while. A bit of ‘detox’.
Why? Multiple reasons really. The easy one is to say that “I want to focus on my prose”. Very little collateral damage in that one I suspect. And it also has the benefit of being true! I should be working on the final revisions of my up-coming novel “On Parliament Hill”, and I am working on a first draft of a novel set in France (38k words in) – though I’m still not convinced I’m entirely persuaded by that one yet. Whether or not I see it through to conclusion, something will follow…
I’m also transcribing the contents of my old notebooks with the aim of turning them into some kind of non-fiction / diary / log / reflective naval-gazing tome. It’s already over 200 pages long, so I think will be seen through to the bitter end (if only for my satisfaction!). This, of course, is also a project that takes time.
Interestingly, this exercise has also highlighted other things. The two stand-outs are 1) the number of solid ideas which have never seen the light of day, and 2) that “An Infinity of Mirrors” is probably the best and most complete novel I have ever written – and that I owe it to myself to come up with something new and equally comprehensive.
I could probably be forgiven for leaving it there – the excuses for taking a ‘poetry break’, that is. But there are two other reasons. The first is that I’m not sure I dedicate enough time to it. And the second is that I’m not convinced I’m good enough at it – or at least not as good as I want to be. I’m currently finalising another volume of poetry – “The Homelessness of a Child” – after which (unless the Muses are particularly generous) I may put down my quill once it has been launched. This is an important volume for me because so much of it is autobiographical and contain things from my past I feel the need to exorcise.
So that’s the current plan:
- finish and publish “The Homelessness of a Child” (then decide…)
- finish and publish / have published “On Parliament Hill”
- finish and publish the ‘notebooks’ thing (I have a working title, but am not yet ready to share it!)
- start / conclude the next piece of fiction, whatever it might be
As ever, sounds so simple laid out like that, doesn’t it?!