Gunn and I have decided to post our daily, 15 minute freewrites for five days.
I ridicule these books. I laugh at their similarities and their subtle differences alike. I find it funny they they all have found the same suggestions, the same solutions to the Pleistocene problems. A literature has built up here, a sort of ars poetica on steroids, juiced into a full size self-help book for the blogger, the bard, the biographer. The basic tale is always the same: at the beginning they teach to write more, try new things, worry less; and at the end the tell us to rectify, rephrase, and rearrange – but use these edits to experiment as well, to continue attempting untried tactics. This is old hat for me. This is Rebecca's hat that she gave me. Her poetry rules have stuck with me through my writing, have echoes along my path parallel to my progression. Priscilla Long's book is the latest and was, initially, much the same. I was mentally comparing chapters of her's to chapters, to portions, to pages placed in other poetry self-help books. But chapter two I couldn't. I found an addition there. Though Rebecca's Rules apply here too, this is a new tactic, an insight that has not been illustrated in every other book of what is becoming a genre. Words words words. It is so simple and obvious and I am sure other authors wrote about it, but not in the way that her ten, fifteen pages on the pleasure and prerequisite of compiling pages of words, lists of lawyerspeak, or parts to a lathe, or colors that are yellow. Sure she hates the Latinate, calls Anglo Saxon the true English, ignores loving the revolution of the Romance invasion from France, but this idea is, after eight years of reading these things for classes, one I haven't come across before quite like this.