Yesterday, I spent some good, more intensive time with my writing projects, both those incomplete as of yet, those finished, and paging through some of those long since published. It was one of those rare lovely and dangerous days where I seem to love everything I've written and therefore a really bad to get any whole scale work or tweaking done. I actually do much less revision as the years go on, mostly because things seem to come out more smoothly the first time than when I was in my twenties or early thirties, But even then my process was very much about working something out before I actually did any typing, or even while I was typing, so usually I was good to go as soon as I actually got it out on the page.
This was also perhaps why I was never a good workshop student or writing group participant. Typically by time I actually typed something up from notes and brought it in, it was already "done" except for maybe some surface tweaks. I always listened kindly to what people had to say and then pretty much ignored it unless I was focused enough to be looking for input on something specific...a word choice or a line break or a punctuation quandary. (and mostly I avoid critique situations like the plague these days, largly since I don't like other peoples fingers in my poems).
I sometimes feel like I'm guess I'm going to do what I need to do and if you like it, awesome, and if you don't, oh well, you'll move along to the next thing that you do.. I think I lost a lot of my anxiety over such things as I worked on more visual stuff, where you either connect with your audience or you don't. I guess as long as I'm happy with it, it's a success, whatever happens to it out there in the world (this isn't to say craft isn't important and everything you write should be considered brilliant, but it's undeniably nice if you can get to the point where it's more play than work.) Publications and prizes are really nice frosting, and necessary if you want to share what you're doing, and to a degree, necessary in finding your audience, but sort of not the end game. Depending on my mood, I am as guilty as everyone else, though of sometimes feeling like they do mean way too much.
Of course ask me in a week if I feel the same about my work and you might get an entirely different answer. There are days when everything is just wrong. wrong. wrong. and those days are bad for actually getting anything done as well. Those days are pretty much bad for everything but reading other writer's blogs and sharing the pain.
But this weekend, is relatively pain free with so much goodness on the horizon both in writing and writing news. I am back in the thick of ghost landscapes and may have figured it out. Also, something else that I started a while back and am thinking I want to get back to sooner than later. There is even some good publication news, with some new poems accepted at eratio and the happy news that the shared properties of water and stars is as we speak at the printer and will be here very soon.