Sunday, October 18, 2009

Poetry Train Monday - 123 - Plow Forward



I'm freshly back from the writers' retreat, so my found poem for today comes from a writing exercise book called Now Write.


This particular exercise focuses on revisions, which is a struggle of mine.















Plow Forward


Writing forward
Writing
Forward
Write each draft to the end

Don't, keep, stopping, and,
Going, back, to, correct
Write each draft to the end

In a novel especially
Write forward
Don't, keep, stopping
You will get stuck

Stuck with the first few chapters
If you don't just write
Through the draft
Write each draft to the end

Don't stop each chapter to perfect it
Don't stop each page to perfect it
Don't stop each paragraph to perfect it
Don't stop each sentence to perfect it
Don't stop

You need to get the sweep
The scope
Write each draft to the end

It will probably take you
At least three to five drafts
Before the final clean-up
Plan on more

Keep a pad of paper
Beside you
Write forward
Don't, keep, stopping

Jot down brilliant ideas
Plow forward
Jot down changes you'll make
Plow forward
Write each draft to the end

- Jonis Agee, 2006

For more poetry, Ride the Poetry Train!

Susan Helene Gottfried says I always say that the first draft is merely for figuring out where the book ends. Once you know that, THEN you can revise.

Gel says I hope the retreat was wonderful. Enjoyed this.

Wylie Kinson says Ooo - I'm going on a writer's retreat this weekend and I'm sooooo looking forward to it.

10 comments:

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Oh, it's from Jonis! She's wonderful; I met her last month.

And yes, she's right, too. I always say that the first draft is merely for figuring out where the book ends. Once you know that, THEN you can revise.

gautami tripathy said...

Every writer needs to read this..

what has time got to do with blood?

Gel said...

What an apt subject. I hope the retreat was wonderful. Enjoyed this.

PS : De-abbreviate as you like ;) said...

Inspiring ideed :)

Wylie Kinson said...

Ooo--I'm going on a writer's retreat this weekend and i'm sooooo looking forward to it.

Your poem will keep me inspired :)

Michelle Johnson said...

i usually know what i want to write about but it's always revised along the way. i think sometimes that might hurt me because i lose some important information along the way. it's become such habit now that i think i've made it work for me. glad you're back from the retreat and you had a good time. have a great day.

Travis said...

This is a huge problem of mine.

Akelamalu said...

I really like the poem Julia.

How was the retreat?

On a limb with Claudia said...

I love how you pick these unusual pieces. They make me think about things in really different ways.

I'm the manuscript slogger. Revision? How about new edition? I'm not quite Joyce (yet) but .... scary to say, eh?

I always want to tell the story in the best possible way for the reader to really get it.

Ana said...

good advice :)