For a while now, I’ve been feeling like my writing process gets in the way of the time I actually spend writing. This is becoming problematic to the point at which I’m having a lot of trouble sitting down and writing a poem. I think it’s because I’m so anxious to come up with images right away that excite me and inspire me, when really the ideology of “first thought, worst thought” usually applies. So I’ll write down a bunch of random images (usually just words describing things I see that I find interesting): table, banner, swing, flower–none of which typically lead to me becoming next Rebecca Lindenberg. Then I’ll brainstorm instructions/directions, except not explicit ones, more just the intros to them: “let me,” “go to,” etc. Still not inspired. These usually end up covering the top half of a page, not in any particular organization but across, diagonal, big, small, you name it. Crappy images all over this piece of looseleaf paper. And somehow if I do this for a long enough time–have enough bad ideas, look at enough domestic objects, make enough combinations of two words–I come up with a poem.
I am going to go out on a limb and assume that my method of writing is not your method of writing (it happens with critical analysis papers as well & I end up surrounded with six pages of paper, each with one important sentence on them.) For a senior English major, it’s pretty embarrassing the time it takes me to come up with a poem/paper topic I can expand on, and saying that my process is all over the place & disorganized is an understatement. So I guess what I’m wondering is how do you all start poems? Any advice about delving in somewhere, or finding a topic that you can completely flush out in a technical, imagized poem? I’d love to hear your thoughts.