Monday, June 22, 2009

I Capture the Sweetshop

Every so often I try to get myself organised so as to be a little more productive than I am. This doesn’t usually work out very well because Malignant Entity hears about it and sabotages, but still: I have sometimes managed to do certain things that I wouldn’t have done if there hadn’t been some kind of plan or readjustment made. The plans and readjustments are not always the active kind, often they involve cutting out something else and usually the something else is given up unwillingly.

I sometimes read the blogs of writers from the land of focussed productivity and it is like pressing my nose against the window of a richly-stocked sweet shop. I want very much to taste the sweets I see, can almost feel the buttery slide of a striped peppermint humbug or the fizz of a strawberry sherbet in my mouth. But twixt them and me is fixed an impenetrable glass wall through which I can only look, and my pockets have only small change. The looking, though, is better than nothing and I still want to know there is a world out there and in there.

I wrote those two paragraphs last night and suddenly realised I needed to sleep. Now I see I have been rambling about sweets and clearly I was having another blood sugar swing and jars of sweets are in any case not the best image to stand for the actual doing of things, but let it be. So, I have a sequence of poems I would like to complete and a number of writing-and-process sessions scheduled. I have completed bits and pieces that I plan to put inside envelopes and send somewhere. I am waving a protracted goodbye to Shrink just as we were in danger of actually getting somewhere, but the driving was killing me and the writing, so that’s that. Back to the square on the board that isn’t quite square one or Go To Jail but isn’t much further on the road to capturing the castle either – and look, I am coming up with crappy images again, I could never stand Monopoly, probably because there never were any castles there to capture, and I have never been much of an entrepreneur.

I should go. Because otherwise I might begin to list the various things that are cluttering up the fragile soul space of Signs and then this would become a confessional blog, which is not necessarily a bad thing, just as confessional poetry is not necessarily a bad thing (and if you are Anne Sexton it is a very good thing indeed – for us, I mean – it didn’t save her). But I think if one is going to do the confessional then there’s no merit in being coy, it needs to be done properly, hammer and tongs and hell for leather, so to speak, and if done in the right way it is not (as everyone always fears) self-indulgence but something big and generous, and one takes one’s hat off to the blogger who does this.

No really, I should go.


Nicola said...

Er...Signs (whispered) did you mean Anne Sexton? I think you might have because I always get the names mixed up, but I did see Stevenson in Bristol last year and she was still going strong - a real poetic force. Not that Sexton isn't still - confessional with all guns blazing.
Your desciption of peering through the glass describes me exactly today.
Thanks - it helps, somehow, to see it in writing.

Reading the Signs said...

Nicola - phew - thanks for the whisper, I did indeed mean Anne Sexton and have adjusted. I could have been really mean and pretended that you just read it wrong, but would I do anything so low?

Thank goodness someone is on the case round here!

Digitalesse said...

Hey Signs, I was coming over all nostalgic for 70s sweets for a moment. Kola Kubes! Kop Kops! Sherbet lemons! And I've just eaten one of those faux healthy (but not really) flapjack-y bars so no doubt I am in the midst of some sort of sucrose induced high.

Goals. Getting Things Done. Etc. I read an interesting article online, called something like 'Kill Your Goals' - and it made sense to me. If setting goals in that Get Things Done way is dragging you down it sort of makes sense to slay them.

Not that I would advocate disorganization and drift, and we do need to have something to drive us, to get us out of our metaphorical or real world bed in the morning/afternoon/evening, but as a frustated and thwarted PWME I sometimes find it difficult to complete those goals I set.

So I have decided to have what I call fuzzy goals. Forget all those SMART specific time-constained blah blah productivity goals, I say. Create as and when and follow the muse. I know this may fly in the face of the CBT way but fuzzy goals work for me. The CBT model sort of cages and imprisons my desire to create.

Reading the Signs said...

Digi - hot on your heels here - be assured that Kola Kubes are there, and Sherbet Lemons, but I have never heard of Kop Kops. Just looked them up, though, and they sound nice. How I love sweets.

Oh goodness, anything with the word SMART in front of it has got to be a no-no. Well, but we did have a Smart Car in Berlin and that was ok. Fuzzy is ok, but bear in mind that as well as all else I suffer from extreme lack of organisation so actually setting a goal to put things in envelopes is a good thing, and shouldn't be beyond me (so why don't I do it?).

Actually, I don't even like the word Goals. Come to think of it, I don't like the word Productivity either.

I'm a difficult case, Digi.

trousers said...

I can taste "buttery slide of a striped peppermint humbug or the fizz of a strawberry sherbet" as I read those words, too.

Interesting, what you have written about confessional blogging/writing/poetry - something I'm conjuring with and not quite getting anywhere (though it's most certainly not for public consumption).

Reading the Signs said...

Ah well, Trousers, if it is not for public consumption then strictly speaking it can't really be called confessional writing because there isn't anyone other than yourself that you are "confessing" to. Unless, of course, you are showing it to certain particular others. Then that would count. But whatever, it can be a good - if challenging - thing to do.

Zhoen said...

I rather prefer blogs like I prefer gardens, a bit wild and haphazard, not too neatly groomed. Perfection makes me terribly uncomfortable.

Reading the Signs said...

Me too, Zhoen, and my garden tends toward the wild. The blogs I have in mind when referring to focussed productivity are also often quite wild - but one can see that their gardens, so to speak are also beautifully stocked with the many things they have planted and tended. Which is how I would like mine to be.