Tuesday 30 November 2010

Book Groups and Writing Dilemmas

It is great that post MA I am still writing, but I have observed in myself of late a distinct lack of discipline when it comes to editing.  In fact I have done virtually no editing at all since the MA ended - I can only surmise that it is the lack of any definite deadline that has made me so lazy.  

Instead I have been putting quite a lot of energy into preparation for the poetry book group I am running. There were five of us at the first meeting but quite a few more people have said that they are interested in coming - although I suspect that the snow might put a few people off this week!  I have enjoyed the research aspect (must be the perpetual student in me!) - writing questions, looking up difficult words etc. and I have started posting the notes I have made onto a new blog, which you can find at poetry book group if you are interested. This month we are looking at "Dart" by Alice Oswald.

A friend in one of my workshopping groups recently commented that my writing seemed a lot more relaxed now I was not on the MA. I wasn't sure what she meant exactly but I found it an interesting comment and have since have tried to examine whether this is true and if so why. It is hard to tell if my writing became uptight as a result of my mother dying or being on the MA, or a combination of the two.  I also find myself wondering if this new relaxedness within my writing is  a good thing or a bad thing. I liked the change in direction that my work took during my final semester at UEA, I have written before about my reluctance to be pigeon-holed as a writer who only writes about the human condition and dysfunction, but I have also experienced some resistance to this change in direction from some of my writing buddies who felt that some of the new work more rural work didn't have quite the edge that my previous work had. Initially I was annoyed and alarmed by this - I wondered what would happen if I could no longer write about anything personal. I think it was an aberration though, probably caused by the death of my mother and everything that surrounded it, and I am finally starting to write some more human stuff again.