Saturday, July 08, 2017

More on permission - to go straight ahead and follow diversions

Four years ago, I wrote a blog post for Writers & Artists on the subject of "permission" - a very important word to me, in writing and in life. I've just written a new post for W&A, a follow-up, talking about the new permissions I needed to move from short story writing into poetry, something that scared and daunted me! An excerpt:

This year sees the publication not just of my third short story collection, but also my first poetry collection. POETRY. When we last met, I was not a poet. Don’t tell anyone, but I didn't like poetry. I didn't understand it, I liked my words to stretch from one margin to the other. Line breaks? Why would anyone want to do that? How do you read them? What is a line? Where are my sentences?
So, how did I get from that to complete adoration of the line break, an insatiable appetite for reading poetry, and even to calling myself a poet?

Very slowly. And with many shots of permission along the way.

Permission to write poetry came differently from short story permission. I had always been writing prose (I never called it “prose” until I started hanging out with poets, for goodness’ sake!). I read stories as a child, so I knew roughly what one should look like on the page. After a few years, though, I needed permission to take myself seriously as a writer – and then the largest permission injection to propel me to my next stage: taking risks in my writing, experimenting...

Read the full article here:  Permission To Go Straight Ahead and Follow Diversions

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