a little focus

Once more I’m sitting here with a host of possible topics to write about and, once more, it’s proving difficult to zoom in on one specific idea and get a blog post written.

As I said last weekend, “When you’re stuck for something to write, it is often because you are looking vaguely around you and there are simply too many potential subjects.”

Pinning down a single idea is like trying to find the queen among the heaving life of an ants’ nest or a hive of bees, a specific car in a multi-storey carpark, one precise tree in the forest…
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a little background

Years ago, I belonged to a mixed-genre writing group. I was one of the few members who primarily wrote poetry, so I was delighted when another poet – Don, an American university professor – settled in the city for a few months and started to attend meetings with his wife. (I can’t remember what she wrote; it may have been academic writing rather than creative.)

I’ve often thought that poets get short-changed at writing groups as they are expected to give feedback on all the other members’ work in a range of genres, but frequently get no useful comments about their poems.
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onwards and upwards – or downwards

Once again, I’ve been thinking of Dorothy Rose from the poem by Pauline Frances Camp.

For those who don’t know, Dorothy Rose was a little girl whose “turned-up nose” inspired her to adopt a positive attitude in life. (Read more about The Rhyme of Dorothy Rose, plus a lovely comment from one of PFC’s great grandchildren on the post Ever Upwards)

In general, I’m an optimist and agree that a positive attitude is a Good Thing. But, more and more, I realise that looking on the bright side isn’t really about looking upwards and overlooking the dirt and the nastiness of life. In fact, by ignoring the negative you can miss so many delightful things.
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sharper focus

It sometimes seems as if my life is getting blurred around the edges as I get older, rather like the gazania flowers in the photo.

I suppose I should be grateful that, unlike the gazanias, I have the option to put things back in focus. Even if I’m not sure I currently have the energy.

a distinct lack of clarity

I took a fair number of photos of the pussy willow tree I passed on my way to the market today. It was breezy, though, and, much like my thoughts, none of the pictures are very focused.

This first one was in many respects especially unsuccessful, as the camera settings were all wrong. Even so, it is by far my favourite.

I’m sure I should be able to come up with some particularly cutting or incisive comment about it, but I’m afraid my ideas are all a bit vague and rather fuzzy round the edges.

focus

I am feeling pleased with myself: I have written just over 4,000 words of good quality original prose since Friday lunchtime.

I am particularly pleased as I’ve been dithering over this for ages and I spent most of yesterday having a day away from the screen. It seems that writing, like many things in life, is dependent on how – or perhaps if – you focus.

raindrop