Friday, July 16, 2021

It is Okay to Be Bad at Stuff.

Very slowly I have been working on a little poetry project. It is nothing to write home about, as I am not a very good poet. But I have been putting together a little collection of poems that I wrote for no reason over the last five years or so. Let me tell you, it is a lot of work because — again — I am not a very good poet.

I have a plan to make a small little book that is very designed. I want the text itself to move around the page and grow or shrink in size and to change fonts and width. I am by no means the first person to do this, but it is kind of a fun little project.

It does mean though  that I am spending a lot of time going through my old writing and so much of it is so very bad. Luckily I have been at this writing thing for so long that it doesn’t hurt my feelings that so much of it is bad. In any creative life, most of what you make will probably suck. This is true for pretty much everybody and I think we should talk about that more; it is okay to suck. What it important is to try. And to keep at it.

Between you and me, I even LIKE some of the bad stuff. If I ever choose to make a project exclusively out of my worst writing, it would be the easiest and largest project of my life.

There is something sort of enjoyable about sitting down with these old poems — old enough that I don’t feel them as mine anymore — and slicing through them with a red pen. There is great precision confidence in a good red pen. The redness makes you feel like you’ve made the proper choice.

I’ll tell you more about this project when there is more to tell. This weekend I’ll spread out all my papers in my dining room and grab at them randomly and slash them with my red pen until the whole room looks like a bloodbath. Should be fun!




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