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Supreme Blue Rose.



Supreme Blue Rose.

Jan 15

Quantified Writer— tools for tracking the writing you do

There’s a wealth of support for tracking physical activity out there at the moment. You can even create art from your daily wanderings/travels by doing little other than carrying your phone around with you. Recently, I’ve been having a quick look at tools for the Quantified Writer. There’s more to experiment with, but in short, if you’re interested, take a look at Word Counter and/or Jamie Todd Rubin’s Google Docs Writing Tracker (which isn’t limited to Google documents, but does require you to push files to your Google drive).

Word Counter is a Mac app that lives in the menu bar. You tell it which apps you want to track writing in, and it’ll count the number of words you generate in each, every day. It also offers a calendar view, and a per-hour graphic representation of the proportion of writing you did in each app.

Google Docs Writing Tracker is a lot more involved. The set-up may well scare many of you away, and I haven’t yet tried it myself, but once you’ve got it up and running, your writing stats are logged in a Google spreadsheet, as well as (optionally) emailed to you on a daily basis. Rather than focusing on apps, this set of Google scripts tracks the number of words in documents hosted in a folder in your Google drive. It’s flexible enough to track plain text files uploaded to that folder, and smart enough to calculate today’s word count for existing files and the differences from yesterday’s writing totals. The spreadsheet has split stats for fiction vs non-fiction writing (for those of us who write in other forms, customising seems fairly easy), and allows you to measure yourself against your own daily writing goals. But it does depend on your writing being in Google, and doesn’t work with .doc/.docx files for those of you who still write in Word. That said, if you’re tech-savvy enough to set it up, you can probably figure out how to automatically sync the writing you do on your desktop/laptop computer to Google through something like IFTTT.

Jan 14

“How much of your day is spent working to get better clients…



"How much of your day is spent working to get better clients versus pleasing the clients you’ve already got? And is pleasing the clients you’ve already got the best way to get better clients? Is a better client somebody who merely pays you more, or are you selling your soul and selling out your career by taking someone today who’s going to put you in the wrong box versus choosing your own box to find the client who is capable of giving you the platform that you deserve…?"

Listen hard, lit professional…

Jan 13

“Recent studies in this country involved with defining the so-called creative personality have…”

“Recent studies in this country involved with defining the so-called creative personality have defined very little indeed and yet one of their proposals interests me. It is that men and women engaged in the arts have a much higher tolerance for disorder than is the usual case. This means, to me, that poets among others involved in comparable acts have an intuitive apprehension of a coherence which permits them a much greater admission of the real, the phenomenal world, than those otherwise placed can allow…It would seem to me that occasional parallels between the arts and religion may well come from this coincidence in attitude, at least at times when philosophy or psychology are not the measure of either.”

- Robert Creeley, from A Sense of Measure (via John Estes: Works & Days)
Jan 12

“I think it’s important for creative professionals to always be learning. For me, that means…”

“I think it’s important for creative professionals to always be learning. For me, that means learning a lot of different disciplines all the time, while continuing to learn about the disciplines you already “know”. I’ve been so into weaving and fibre arts lately aside from everything else I’m doing. Sometimes I wish I could just do one thing and be the ultimate master at it, but I’m a Gemini so I know that will never happen.”

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Caroline Tompkins – Explore Create Repeat – by Format

Gemini here. Guilty as charged.

Jan 11

“If poetry demands solitude and introspection, then I am in trouble. I know too many gifted poets who…”

“If poetry demands solitude and introspection, then I am in trouble. I know too many gifted poets who have been waiting for years for time to write. This saddens me. I believe poetry benefits from introspection, but solitude — physical solitude — is not necessary for introspection. The secret is to have the capacity for introspection while being around others. I remember hearing Lucille Clifton suggesting to a group of poets that wondered how she managed to keep writing while having her share of children, that they look at the length of her poems during the years she spent raising the kids. They were shorter, she said. Her point was that she was not going to stop writing. But she was going to change the way she wrote — the form, if you will — to suit the culture of her world. It is a most brilliant thing. Recently, my children were laughing about the fact that they have never really seen me write. Suddenly there is a book and then they wonder how that happened, when did I do all that writing. The answer is that I worked on the poems while I was with them. Introspection — thinking, if you will — happens in the head. Chew, and walk, chew and walk, now rub your belly and pat the head. Again, chew and walk, chew and walk, now rub the belly and pat the head.”

- Kwame Dawes, quoted in The Electric Poetry of Kwame Dawes | Diriye Osman
Jan 10

“Your poem effectively begins at the first moment you’ve startled yourself. Throw everything away…”

“Your poem effectively begins at the first moment you’ve startled yourself. Throw everything away that proceeded that moment.”

- Stephen Dunn, via Planning for Surprise: Writing and Teaching Personal Narratives | TriQuarterly
Jan 9

“When I start to write the page is blank. When I finish, most of it is still blank.”

“When I start to write the page is blank. When I finish, most of it is still blank.”

- Most of the page is still blank: An interview with Alex Epstein « Kenyon Review Blog
Jan 8

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Dec 29

“There’s a hole in the side of the boat. That hole is never going to be fixed, and it’s never going…”

“There’s a hole in the side of the boat. That hole is never going to be fixed, and it’s never going away, and you can’t get a new boat. This is your boat. What you have to do is bail water out faster than it’s coming in.”

- Will McAvoy, The Newsroom (via charlestontucker)
Dec 24

Mouthy Poets



Mouthy Poets

Dec 15

Aisling Fahey, Young Poet Laureate for London headlining at…



Aisling Fahey, Young Poet Laureate for London headlining at Mouthy Poets’ first national tour date.

Dec 14

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Dec 14

In transit. Must be said, the camera on the iPhone 6 is not too…



In transit. Must be said, the camera on the iPhone 6 is not too shabby at all…

Dec 13

Miriam Nash



Miriam Nash

Dec 12

“We must create work that refuses to leave this world the same as when we entered. We do not have the…”

“We must create work that refuses to leave this world the same as when we entered. We do not have the luxury of only writing the selfish confession, we must testify in our court of craft that these poems we write are bold, unflinching, and unwilling to stale idle in a geography of madness. We must demand of ourselves to write the uncomfortable, dangerous, shift-making poems. How much longer will we write casually in the face of a beast?”

- Danez Smith, Open Letter to White Poets
Dec 12

Miriam Nash (poet, producer…)



Miriam Nash (poet, producer…)

Dec 11

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Dec 10

Creative Mornings, London, November 2014 – Duncan Gough



Creative Mornings, London, November 2014 - Duncan Gough

Dec 9

Michael “Gulliver” Vidon



Michael “Gulliver” Vidon

Dec 8