Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Monday, 6 August 2012


Forgive me, Reader, for I have sinned. It has been a month since my last Pen Pot Post. Now, I confess: I’ve found creativity hard-going lately, and it’s left me wondering quite what I should blog about!

From previous experience, I’ve learned that when the end of a project arrives I feel bereft and lost for quite some time – and it’s easier said than done to launch into the next project. Since completing my ‘Identity’ poetry sequence, I have written six poems and have plans for a seventh, which is great. Fabulous. Almost prolific, even. But as poems are short and so a self-contained project, I’ve been feeling lost after finishing each one!

Fresh ideas for longer pieces, then, have been lacking – and I got to thinking about why I set up the Pen Pot Blog in the first place. Realising that it’s a year since we began, I figured it was time for a Retrospective.

Back on the 8th August 2011, I opened the Pen Pot with the aim to talk about:

1.      The crafting of writing;

2.      The critiquing of writing;

3.      Words that work as writing prompts;

4.      Specific inspirations;

5.      Books I’ve learned from;

6.      Inspirational quotations; and

7.      Beginning/completing writing exercises (and sharing them with you, if I was brave enough!).

Have I achieved these aims, then? Well, it’s a mixed bag, I guess – ‘yes’ to words that I like and find inspirational; a mega ‘yes’ to talking about books and my reading, though a ‘maybe’ to discussing anything learned from them; a teeny tiny ‘yes’ to sharing quotations (and yet I was sure I’d share loads!); a fair ‘yes’ to sharing how my own writing has been going and my drafting/critiquing process (though not in detail); but a big fat ‘no’ to writing exercises.

And that’s what I’d like to change, going forward. I need to be more disciplined and definitely DO some exercises!

This Retrospective is also a big “thank you” to you, the Pen Pot Readers, for sticking with me and my warblings!, and a huge “thank you” to those of you who have ‘followed’ the Pen Pot (if you haven’t yet and you want to – so that you’d never miss a post – just click on the ‘Follow’ icon at the top of the screen and carry out the instructions!).

While I genuinely appreciate you reading this, I had also hoped the Pen Pot would find a wider, more writerly-based audience too, so as to put me in touch with other writers; and perhaps we would’ve even been able to have a creative correspondence of some kind. Unfortunately (even after I promoted the Pen Pot address in a published letter to ‘Writing Magazine’...), this hasn’t happened yet...and I still would like it to.
So, I think it’s time to try and cast the Pen Pot’s net a bit further... I hear Twitter is the place for writers to hang out, chat and connect – so watch this witterings may become Tweets sooner than you’d think!

Retrospective-wise, then, for the next year of the Pen Pot’s life, I aim to:

1.      Post a writing exercise of some kind once a week (written, if not immediately shared online, on a Monday evening when the TV is out of my control because the soaps are being watched...grr! But this does free up an hour and a half of watching-nothing-time which can become writing-exercise time instead of reading/listening-to-music/chatting-on-the-phone time!);

2.      Talk more specifically about how critiquing helps improve my work;

3.      Be as short in my postings as I am in real life (!), and share succinct quotations and posts instead of War and Peace type ones (!!);

4.      Be brave and wade into the Twitter domain so that I can hopefully connect with more writers; and

5.      (in the way of Strictly Come Dancing-speak)...

Ke-eep writing!