View Full Version : Your ‘Work Rate’ - for want of a better term

September 9th, 2019, 10:25 AM
I’m curious how much time people put into writing poetry, how many poems they produce over a give period (roughly), and if they ever write something that doesn’t need any (in their view) altering/editing/reworking, or simply needs a small tweak? How often does this happen?

I ask because I tend to go through phases where I can spew out several poems a day without much effort, yet other times I can sit and stare at a piece of paper, or in random thought, and feel no impulse to write.

To answer my own questions, at the moment I write one or two poems a day (but I go through spells where I’ll only bother to write maybe one a month). The amount of time I put into them varies a lot. Sometimes I leave them as they came out, but more often either rework them instantly and/or use them as a platform for other ideas - poetry or other. I do enjoy going back to things I wrote months/years ago and seeing of I can do something to improve them too.

I do find that the pieces I don’t rework/edit tend to be the ones that please me the most - also they tend to be written without pause. That said I do like thinking through ideas, exploring thoughts, for a good while before having the urge to put pen to paper.

What about you folks?

Thanks :)

Darren White
September 9th, 2019, 12:33 PM
For me, writing poetry is work. The poems I write in a Stream of Consciousness are not finished at all, even though it feels good to write them all down within five minutes. I work at my poems, it takes days, weeks, months, and even then I am not fully satisfied.
Also, I tend to read a lot, not only about poetry, but also novels, essays, whatever, that give me ideas how to improve what I already have written.

Contrary to you, I can feel very satisfied with a poem I have changed a lot.

As for the writing itself, I'm quite disciplined. I start very early in the morning, around 5, 6 AM and continue for about 4 hours non-stop. After that the day kicks in and brings other obligations

September 9th, 2019, 03:40 PM
I do feel just as ‘satisfied’, if not more so, with things I’ve reworked too. I just USUALLY like the ones that I don’t need to touch again more than any others.

Thanks for the seek peek into your habits :)

September 13th, 2019, 04:00 AM
How many poems do you write in those four hours? I wasn’t really thinking about ‘completion’, just getting an initial draft down.

I’m in a bit of a fruitful phase right now, I wrote seven yesterday. I’m guessing if you’re so dedicated to poetry you’re probably spending two of those hours working on several drafts and maybe sketching out a new poem or two a day?

Just curious about people’s work rates as I don’t do this full-time.

Darren White
September 13th, 2019, 05:43 AM
I always have a few projects running the same time. I am working on a larger project, a story, partly in poems, partly in poetic prose. Some of the poems in there, I'm working on simultaneously. Plus I work on other poems as well, So.... I often have 5-6 poems running the same time in all sorts of stages of development.

I think, with a few exceptions, none of us here writes full-time :)

September 13th, 2019, 06:18 AM
If you’re cranking out four hours a day that is pretty close to ‘full-time’. Most professional writers I’ve heard talk about the ‘other stuff’ taking up most of their time - promotions, meetings, appointments, advertising and general bookkeeping. At the moment I’m interspersing my time with digital art and writing on what I would a ‘full-time’ basis this past week (starting 8am and finishing up between 3-4pm). To be honest around 2 of those hours are spend idling away online - like now! :D

I guess it’s harder to gauge the ‘quantity’ when it comes to poetry because word counts don’t really fit into the same category as other forms of writing.