Ah, the challenges of staying organized! I spent this morning finally starting the process of reorganizing my poetry files–the paper ones, which I keep in various arrangements of document boxes, accordion file boxes, and an index card box. This is stage one of a project I have procrastinated on for far too long. The digital files will be the next step, assuming I actually complete this stage. Being something of a Luddite when it comes to digital organization methods, I have no idea how to manage that stage yet; paper documents, however, I understand.
January’s tenor usually strikes me as a bit dull, damp, chilly, dark, and generally unmotivating. My mood concurs. It’s therefore rather heartening that I find myself up to this task–and that the task itself has given me a sense of accomplishment in more ways than one. For one thing, getting around to doing what you know has to be done but have been putting off can feel surprisingly good. For another thing, the reorganized materials take up less space, which is never a bad thing.
Also, it was a boost to my writerly confidence to make an informal accounting of my published work. After 40 years of writing it feels good to know that many editors, and a few publishers, thought my poems “good enough” to print. The unpublished poems take up considerably more space, of course. And I haven’t even started to page through THAT pile yet, let alone find a method of organizing the pages. The sense of having at least begun this lengthy process cheers me in the middle of the bleak, blah, January days.
This cartoon by Sarah Kempa (The New Yorker, Jan 11, 2023) struck me as applying also to poets and other creative writers. I know this feeling well. Many of us benefit from the occasional boost in confidence.
And believe me, I have many thoughts about AI-generated prose and poetry; but that’s for a later post.