I am writing a book. Of poems. Of 88 poems. About constellations. Let me tell you. I’m not as far in as I want to be. Let me tell you, I started this book several years ago. For the moment, I’m trying not to worry about that. The same way I’m trying not to worry that today, and yesterday, and probably tomorrow, I don’t believe tea is a snack. The point is – I’m working on it.
I’m working on believing tea is a snack. I’m working on my book. I’m trying to write at least two poems a week. If I do that, my book will be done in September. If I write three a week, my book will be done in June. I’m rewarding myself with a special treat when the first draft is complete.
I’m telling you because saying so is a commitment. I’m saying it because I need to make it happen.
There are moments in writing a book of sheer regret, of frustration, of terror. There are infinitesimally more moments of sheer joy. Like today, I wanted to write a poem of discordant sounds, a cacophonic poem. And while my research process to gather information to write it was familiar, I stepped entirely out of my normal writing process to create the poem itself.
There’s something to the feeling of having a crackling, sparking thing rolling off of the printer. It’s something else entirely when it rushes forth from the unfamiliar. There’s discovery in the moment of it that you never expected. There’s indescribable curiosity at finding this new part of yourself, the little pocket in your brain that made it so, the seconds in which the piece came together and into its own being.
Today, I am happy that I showed up, and made progress. That the writing muscles (the poetry-writing muscles) are working back into shape. That I can sit in a coffee shop and write a poem. That I can also just sit at my desk in my office in my home and type a new poem on my laptop, just the same. There's no muse that does this. It's work. It's work I'm fortunate to be able to do. I have so far to go.