in haste

bullrushes on edge of frozen pond

A message in my inbox this morning provided me with a title and a challenge to write a poem.

I have in fact written very little poetry this year and the idea of writing something to order is daunting.

Some pieces of writing come easily, others less so: the other day I had lunch with a friend and then came back and wrote a 500-word post for her company blog in about an hour; this post was started nearly eight hours ago and still doesn’t have even 100 words.

Poems may be short-form text, but the whole point is that although they require few words, they need the right words. The right words, in the right order, and nothing else.

Still, a challenge is a challenge, so I’ve spent much of the day reading, watching videos, listening to audio files and making notes. Now I’m going to let that all settle while I go listen to some local musicians and poets and then I’ll see what I come up with.

Incidentally, the photos were selected because of the tenuous association that they are bullrushes – surely that has something to do with speed? (Or the quality of writing?)

 Bullrushes on edge of frozen pond

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

8 thoughts on “in haste”

    1. Is publication really a necessary part of writing? (I ask because I am ambivalent about this.)
      I post pieces here on the blog and know that they have already served me well, as writing them has helped me hone my writing skills.

      Some poems I don’t post because I think they deserve a more “official” publication; then I realise that if I am too lazy to work on submissions they will never have a chance of being read and I end up posting them anyway. Some get “published” by being read at open mikes and other events.

      Even if I wrote nothing new from now on, there are so many pieces I could go back to that have never quite been finished. (The big advantage of publication is that it gives a kind of closure.)

      I write far less poetry than I did, but I can’t imagine ever stopping completely.


      1. I can understand that.

        For me, though, the writing alone can be sufficient reason for a poem and it really doesn’t need to go out in to the wider world. I might even argue that many poems would be better left unpublished.

        Publication seems a good thing as it confirms someone else has read and appreciated your work, but there are many editors and publications out there now and anyone can set up as a publisher; it’s almost a question of just finding the one you are in tune with – if you look long enough, there must be someone you suit and who suits you and the chances are that when you find them they will publish the type of work you like. That sounds like confirmation bias. It also sounds like the premise for a blog post, though perhaps not today’s.

        *Thank you* for stopping to comment.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Someone once asked me why I spent so much time writing if I was going to keep it all to myself. I was a teen then, and that changed the course of my writing forever. That’s when I first began writing a “publishable” piece, and expanded my skills.

        For now, I really enjoy self-publishing via my blog. When the time comes to publish my novels, I’ll see where the writing industry is. :)


      3. I don’t believe what my friend said was careless or insensitive. I like honest friends, and he was trying to encourage me to share.

        His question encouraged me to make a profession of my passion. I’ve been a paid writer for 10 years and own a PR firm. I love what I do.

        To each their own.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I guess I’m used to the “silent period” in language learning, when students don’t speak although they may be able to understand. Forcing someone when they aren’t ready can be detrimental. I think a lot of writers need time to write things out of their system and build their own fluency before they are ready to share – otherwise they can’t detach themselves from their writing and any commentary is likely to be seen as personal.
        In both situations, giving them opportunities without pressure is probably good.
        I’m glad you were able to use your friend’s comment to clarify what you wanted to do with your own writing.


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